It will be the first time the Golden Disk Awards, which recognize the outstanding achievements of South Korean musical artists, will be presented outside of Korea. The winners are chosen from a list of nominees whose works were released from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30 of that year.
“Japan is the biggest market for pop music in Asia, and Korean artists are very active and popular there,” an event official told the Korea Joongang Daily. “That is why we chose Japan for the biggest musical event in South Korea. We want to test and also prove the worldwide popularity of ‘K-pop.’”
Microsoft Network Japan, one of the sponsors of the event, is currently taking Internet votes from Japanese fans that will decide the winner for most popular Korean musician in Japan. The fans in Korea will decide the other awards.
K-pop musicians sing many of their songs in Japanese because Japan has the biggest music industry in the world with a market value worth more than 300 billion yen ($3.8 billion). The South Korean government will spend 44 billion yen ($564 million) to train new K-pop talents and export TV dramas internationally, according to Yonhap News.
Korean pop groups and actors are on many Japanese television programs, music hit charts, advertisements, magazines and even on some products in convenience stores.
However, K-pop and Korean actors are not only a boom but controversial as well.
There have been some complaints on the Internet and blogs about Korean shows broadcast on TV. It is common to see Internet news about successful Korean stars followed by hundreds of negative opinions in the comments sections. About 5,000 protested outside Fuji TV in August, objecting to the network’s use of too many South Korean TV programs and promoting its stars.
As previously reported, one person Tweeted, “I don’t really watch channel 8 (Fuji TV) anymore. Japanese people want traditional Japanese programs.” He later added, “It feels like Korean programs brainwash you, and it really makes me feel bad. Broadcasters need to realize the negative effects of their programming.”
But Kazuya Ishibashi, a K-pop fan, says, “I love K-pop groups like ‘Kara’ and ‘Girls Generation’ and plan to watch the program. I don’t care about the politics.”