Japanese Music Coming to Korea

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Japanese Music Coming to Korea

Korea's music industry had been expecting the easing of sanctions on Japanese music for quite a while, so there aren't many surprised faces following the recent changes. In fact Korean music fans are already familiar with Japanese music. Yuhki Kuramoto and Ryuchi Sakamoto have quite a lot of Korean fans while other kinds of instrumental music and jazz vocalists like Keiko Lee are already releasing their albums in Korea. Since this environment is already in place, music industry insiders aren't worrying too much about the further easing of sanctions.

Analysts remark that the recent partial easing of sanctions is designed to reduce the shock that might be created if Japanese music was suddenly imported into Korea.

"If Japanese music is allowed into Korea in one go, it might actually increase the antipathy against the music." said Lee Hyuk of Sony Music. He said that he was in favor of the partial easing of sanctions.

The measure allowing concerts but forbidding the sale of albums is designed to reduce the shock of lifting sanctions. It is based on the jusgment that no artists would be willing to hold a solo concert when their albums are not being sold in Korea. Therefore a lot of people believe Japanese singers will take part in joint concerts with a number of groups in order to promote themselves in Korea, rather than holding solo concerts.

Insiders in the music industries of both countries agree that before Japanese music can be fully allowed into Korea, problems regarding copyright need to be solved.

A Japanese music specialist emphasized that Korea should think of ways to promote Korean music in Japan rather than only working to import Japanese music.

by Lee Eun-joo

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