It was recently revealed that singer Lee Seung Chul was refused entry into Japan.
The singer left for Japan on the morning of November 9. Upon arrival at Haneda Airport, he was detained at immigration for roughly four hours, at the end of which he was ultimately refused entry. Several reports state that this may be due to Shin Hae Chul’s previous performance in Dokdo prior to Liberation Day, during which he revealed and performed the ‘unification song’ “That Day.”
In a phone call with JTBC News Room on November 10, Lee Seung Chul stated that the immigration officer explained his detainment as a result of recent news about the singer: “It didn’t make sense. ‘Recent news’ sounded like they were talking about Dokdo. I think they were being vague because it could cause problems.” TV Daily reports that upon Lee Seung Chul’s statement that he will not let this unfair treatment go unnoticed, the immigration office brought forward issues with Lee Seung Chul’s use of marijuana, which took place over 20 years ago.
In light of this incident, similar cases from the past have resurfaced, in which Korean stars were refused entry into Japan.
In 1996, singer Jung Kwang Tae, who sang “Dokdo Is Our Land,” requested a Japanese visa along with the production crew for an SBS special that was to be filmed in Japan. However, Jung Kwang Tae was the only person to not be issued a visa.
In 2011, BEAST and CNBLUE were detained by immigration for roughly eight hours, after which their entry was denied, due to the stars not having gotten the required visas. However, BEAST’s agency stated that they had asked an entertainment agency in Japan prior to departure, and were told that they did not need visas. CNBLUE also was advised by an agency regarding immigration procedures. TV Daily reports that at the time, there was friction between Korea and Japan over the island Dokdo.
Actor Song Il Gook met with a similar issue. Following the actor’s participation in a Dokdo swimming project, vice minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan stated, “We’re sorry but it seems it may be difficult for you to come to Japan in the future. We believe that is how Japanese citizens feel.” At this, Song Il Gook posted a simple retort on a social networking site: “I’ll just say the names of my sons: Dae Han, Min Gook, Man Se [a Korean cheer].”
On November 11, according to a report by Newsis, the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested an explanation from Japan for the refusal of Lee Seung Chul’s entry. Spokesperson No Kwang Il said that they received a response, saying that due to usual practice and protection of personal information, they cannot reveal the reason why Lee Seung Chul was refused entry.