Currently, tensions between Japan and South Korea are at a peak, the highest since World War II some would say. These tensions have affected sectors such as sports and tourism. They may have even affected this year’s Kohaku Uta Gassen.
The Japan / Korea collaboration groups TWICE and IZ*ONE are favored to be on this year’s Kohaku, but that may not happen due to the worsening relationship between the two countries. “Kohaku Uta Gassen is produced by NHK, which is funded by license fees from the public. If a Korean singer appears on the show in this current climate, it is likely that there will be a wave of protests immediately,” says a record industry official.
TWICE has appeared on Kohaku for the past two years, and given their current success, are slated for a third appearance. IZ*ONE is popular with middle and high school students, leading some to believe that they will debut on Kohaku this year.
According to an entertainment official that is familiar with Korean entertainment, the three Japanese members of IZ*ONE are being bashed in Korea due to the breakdown in relations between Japan and Korea. It is so bad that the Japanese trio is considering quitting the group, allegedly.