Album Celebrating 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/JapanTen singers from Korea and Japan are to meet in late December to record an album called "Project 2002," to celebrate the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan.
Several working-level talks have taken place, beginning in 1999, between the 21st Century Korea Foundation for the Promotion of Music Industry (KOMPI), an organization affiliated to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the Foundation for Promotion of Music Industry & Culture (PROMIC) from Japan to prepare for the recording of the album.
"Not only will this album promote cultural exchanges between Korea and Japan," said Seo Hee-deok, director of KOMPI, "but it will also help open up international markets for both the nations."
According to Mr. Seo, recording will begin after the 10 musicians selected have been confirmed by mutual agreement with Japan toward the end of this month. A joint concert also will be held on May 31, 2002, the opening day of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Tokyo, Japan.
In Korea, eight popular singers or groups were provisionally selected last month to contribute to the album. They are GOD, Cho Sung-mo, FIN.K.L, Shin Seung-hun, J, Kim Hyun-jung, Yoo Seung-jun and Kim Kun-mo.
"Contributors will be selected on the basis of their singing ability and talents and not just on their domestic popularity," said Jung Yun-yong, a public information officer for KOMPI. "Our major concern is to make the album of a high enough standard that it can compete and gain recognition in the international music market."
The 11 songs on the album will be sung in either Korean or Japanese, and a simultaneous release in both countries is scheduled for next March.
"We have been conducting research into the domestic demand to establish that there will be a market for the album," said Mr. Jung.
"I think this joint album is as meaningful as the joint hosting of the World Cup," said Kim Sun-hee, a student of political science, "in the sense that it will enable both nations to form strong ties with each other, and it will also encourage a softening of the anti-Japanese sentiment in Korea."
The World Cup is the world's single most popular sporting event. The first World Cup tournament was held in 1930 and it has since taken place every four years, alternating every two years with the Olympic games. The 2002 FIFA World Cup will start on May 31 and end on June 30. Games will take place in 10 cities in Korea and Japan.
by Kim Jae-seon