South Korean pop singers and groups will not be part of the yearend NHK music show, “Kohaku Uta Gassen,” this year. When NHK announced its 50 performers for the singing extravaganza broadcast every New Year’s Eve, Korean performers were conspicuously absent.

Fans and commentators claimed that the diplomatic conflict over the Takeshima Islands played a part in the decision. However, NHK said in a press release that the selection of artists for the 62nd annual program was based on artistic activities and the support they receive from the general public, not on politics.

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