Korean stars dropped from Japanese year-end music show
TOKYO, Japan - South Korean pop singers and groups who have been fixtures of NHK's "Kohaku Uta Gassen" music show in recent years have been dropped for this year's show to be broadcast on New Year's Eve, according to a list of performers unveiled Monday by the public broadcaster.
Announcing the lineup of 50 individual and group performers, Japan Broadcasting Corp. said the "Korean wave" performers were dropped "considering public opinion and (their) activities this year."
Diplomatic relations between Seoul and Tokyo have soured since South Korean President Lee Myung Bak in August visited the Takeshima Islands, known as Dokdo in South Korea, which are controlled by South Korea but claimed by Japan.
Last year, Korean girls' groups KARA and Girls' Generation and male duo Tohoshinki (TVXQ) performed at the music extravaganza.
This year's list includes Saori Yuki, who gained prominence outside Japan after collaborating with U.S. jazz ensemble Pink Martini.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, a singer and model known for her unique fashion taste, is appearing for the first time.
Among other new faces are the female idol group Momoiro Clover Z and the popular boy band Kanjani Eight, as well as SKE48, a Nagoya-based sister unit of the famous all-female group AKB48.