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  • Korean Stars Still Popular in Japan despite Territorial Disputes
  • [2005-04-08]
  • Despite the growing anti-Japanese sentiment in Korea over the territorial dispute over the Dokdo islets and historical distortions in Japanese textbooks, the popularity of South Korean "hallyu" stars Bae Yong-jun, Lee Byung-heon and Kwon Sang-woo was found to still be very high.

    The largest Japanese portal website "Infoseek Japan" wrote on April 7 that Bae Yong-jun was the eighth most-searched name among male celebrities from March 29 to April 4. Bae's popularity remains undiminished as he ranked fifth on the top search list last week.

    Lee Byung-heon, who flew to Japan on April 6 to promote his latest movie "A Bittersweet Life," ranked ninth last week, edging up three notches from the previous position. The drama "All In," starring Lee and Song Hye-gyo, will premiere in Japan on April 16.

    "The popularity of South Korean stars is still very high. Kwon Sang-woo ranks 12th and Ryoo Shi-won 16th," reported Infoseek Japan.

    In terms of VOD searches on Infoseek Japan, the miniseries "Beautiful Days" starring Lee Byung-heon tops the list so far, followed by "Winter Sonata" starring Bae Yong-jun. The miniseries "Staircase to Heaven" starring Kwon Sang-woo has taken the second spot on the movie-drama top search list.

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