Kusanagi Tsuyoshi, a member of the top Japanese group SMAP, is in Korea and has met with the Korean group V.O.S.
He has come to Korea for an interview for the program “Kusanagi Tsuyoshi 2,” which he hosts on Fuji TV. Before leaving Monday, he interviewed V.O.S at a cafe in Gangnam, Seoul.
The Korean band’s management agency, Starempire, said, “The Japanese singer asked V.O.S members about their careers so far as a group and as solo singers. The interview will air next month. He took particular interest in the planned V.O.S. mini concert/fan meeting on Feb. 21 in Shibuya, Tokyo.”
According to Starempire, at the end of the interview, V.O.S. asked for Kusanagi’s age. When he said he was born in 1974, the Korean members immediately called him their elder brother and promised to become close brothers from now.
Last Saturday, Kusanagi also met with members of Shinhwa, with whom he is good friends.
The Korean drama “Iris” starring top actor Lee Byeong-heon is expected to generate some 200 million yen (3 billion won) in economic benefits in Japan’s Akita prefecture, where it will be shot.
Kyodo News says the prefecture officially announced the Korean drama will be shot there for 3 weeks from mid-March. Officials expect the economic effect will include a rise in tourist numbers.
Scenes shot there will mainly focus on Lee, who is playing an intelligence agent fleeing Korea and infiltrating Japan. The production agency Taewon says Akita was picked for its snow covered scenery. As for the exact location in Akita, either Oga or Senboku districts will be the likely choice.
Akita governor Sukeshiro Terata said, “I get a glimpse of Korean dramas when my wife watches them. But ‘Iris’ starring Lee, highly popular in Japan, will have considerable positive impact to our prefecture.”
Akita officials plan to form a corporate support team to help the shooting as well as a reception for the Korean actor. Accommodations for the drama’s 80 Korean staffers will also be provided for free.
The first shoot on March 10 is an action scene featuring Lee, Kim Tae-hee, Jeong Jun-ho and TOP, a member of the boy band Big Bang. The 20-episode spy action series is jointly directed by filmmaker Yang Yun-ho, known for the movies “Holiday” and “Libera Me,” and TV producer Kim Gyu-tae, who made the drama “Love I Want to Kill.”
Meanwhile, Lee is returning to the small screen for the first time since the SBS hit drama “All In” 6 years ago. He will hold a large scale fan meeting in Tokyo on Feb. 28 — he will be meeting his Japanese fans more than one year after his LBH Arena Tour in late 2007.