Rain’s first tour after military will be in Japan

AFP-JIJI

South Korean pop star Rain will visit Japan next month for his first concert tour after being released from military service, his agency said.

The “2013 Rain Zepp Tour: Story of Rain” will begin with performances in Nagoya on Nov. 14 and 15, the Cube DC management agency said Tuesday.

The tour, marking the 11th anniversary of Rain’s debut, will also take him to Fukuoka, Osaka and Tokyo.

The 31-year-old K-pop star, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, finished his mandatory military service in July.

Rain is one of the biggest names in K-pop, which commands a huge following in South Korea, across much of Asia and beyond.

In January, he was confined to barracks for a week after he sneaked out to meet television drama star Kim Tae-hee while on official duty.

Military service is taken extremely seriously in South Korea, which remains technically at war with North Korea because their 1950-1953 conflict ended with a cease-fire rather than a peace treaty.

Apart from those with physical disabilities, exemptions are rare and anyone refusing to serve — for moral or religious reasons — faces an automatic jail term.

Celebrities are frequently caught trying to evade military service for fear they might be forgotten by their fans while in uniform.

Rain served 21 months.