So KARA and Super Junior‘s Siwon are both currently mired in controversies over Dokdo/Takeshima/Stupid Fucking Rocks In The Middle Of The Sea. Why? I don’t know, because apparently people think robotic pop idols are supposed to be political scientists or something.
Recently, tension between Korea and Japan heightened due to the controversy surrounding the sovereignty of Dokdo, a group of islets located in the Sea of Japan. With both countries claiming ownership of the islets, comments made by public figures in regards to the issue have been widely reported by the media and criticized by the general public. Because of this, many celebrities have been under fire for their comments, or lack thereof, in relation to the problem.
Here’s the hilarious part about this introductory paragraph by Koreaboo: depending on which country reads it, they would draw criticism for what they wrote regardless. They referred to the islands as Dokdo instead of Takeshima and they referred to the sea as Sea Of Japan instead of East Sea.
“OMG! YOU GUYS HATE … uh … BOTH COUNTRIES!”
“BOYCOTT! HOLD PROTESTS!”
Earlier in the month, Super Junior’s Siwon was heavily criticized as he re-tweeted a message posted by South Korean president Lee Myungbak, who said that Dokdo belongs to South Korea and thus they must fight to protect it. Additionally, Siwon’s father had also been criticizing Japan on his personal twitter, adding fuel to the fire at the expense of his son’s image.
In response, Super Junior’s Japanese fans expressed disappointment towards Siwon, even going as far as threatening to throw eggs at Siwon during the group’s recent visit to Japan for a fan meeting. The fans expressed, “We know that the government in Japan and Korea don’t think alike, and that’s not something that can be controlled, but there is no need to discuss it on Twitter.”
Okay, granted, from a public relations standpoint he’s a dumbass for tweeting that while he’s trying to promote in Japan.
Still though, that’s sort of the point. The dude isn’t popular because he’s a fucking scholar, he’s just an idol, who fucking cares what he thinks?
“Throw eggs at him because he retweeted shit that their President said! Yah!”
Come the fuck on. How about you just get over it? It’s not like he said he wants to fucking invade Japan.
On August 22, at the Seoul Kwang-jang Dong Walker Hill Hotel, Kara hosted a show case and as well as a press conference to promote their new album. During the press conference, the question “If you received a question about Dokdo in Japan, what position would you take?” was tossed into the air.
But MC Park Ji Yoon, who was the announcer of the event that day, dismissed the question. It is most likely that the question was on a list of questions to avoid intentionally before the press conference. All five Kara members stayed silent.
The article argues that although the event was for the purpose of promoting Kara’s new album activities, and although the announcer rejected the question, it is without question, that the girls should have replied with a defiant “Of course, Dokdo is Korea’s land.” Instead of giving what should have been an obvious and easy answer, according to the news article, Kara chose to keep silent.
This is the epitome of a Catch-22, no? They either piss off the country that has made them a top three girl group or they fucking hate Korea and being Korean and wish they were Japanese. Or something. Right? Cause obviously if they don’t take strong political stances in line with nationalistic jingoism, they fucking hate being Korean or whatever.
I understand that everybody expresses nationalism to an extent. I generally limit myself to sporting events and varying amounts of pride, but we all have different levels. That’s fine. However, when it gets to the point where you’re a traitor if you don’t agree with a government dogma, it all just becomes asinine and unhealthy. It already pisses me off when Americans take it to that extent (“IT’S A FUCKIN’ AMERICAN TRUCK!“), and I’d say we’re pretty bad about it, but Asian countries are on some next level shit.
Then add the fact that in this case both Japan and Korea are holding pop idols responsible to make political statements and it’s just a recipe for disaster.
Pop stars are made for mass consumption; they are there to dance and sing and look nice for your general amusement. The fact that their opinions on political matters (“BRO I NEED TO KNOW WHAT KARA THINKS ABOUT THE ECONOMIC POLICY BEFORE I BUTT DANCE AGAIN!“) even comes into play is nuts to me. Sure, their opinions can always reflect on them personally, but holding them responsible as some type of national spokesperson for government politics is just hilarious. Or at least it would be if it wasn’t so pathetic.