Japan's deaf ear to Gangnam Style riles South Korea
Psy may have conquered the rest of the world with his "Gangnam Style," but Japan has turned a deaf ear to the South Korean rapper's music, triggering anger in the singer's home country.
By Julian Ryall, Tokyo
11:05AM BST 24 Oct 2012
South Koreans believe that Japan's dismissal of the worldwide hit has more to do with the bilateral dispute over the sovereignty of two rocky islands that lie between the Asian neighbours than Psy's music.
Psy performed some of the Gangnam Style moves with Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations in New York, on Tuesday, with Mr Ban joking that he felt overshadowed by his compatriot.
"I'm a bit jealous," Mr Ban said in New York. "Until two days ago someone told me I am the most famous Korean in the world. Now I have to relinquish (that title)."
Back in Psy's homeland, however, tensions are rising at the apparent indifference of music fans to his work.
"Gangnam Style" has been watched 530 million times on YouTube, has topped the UK charts and presently sits at number two on the US Billboard charts, but only just scrapes into the top 30 songs on the Japanese iTunes chart.
Striking another off-note, AFP reported that some Japanese music bloggers have even accused South Koreans of boosting the song's YouTube hits by repeatedly using automated viewing programmes.
On Monday, the Korean Wave Research Institute released a statement in which the Japanese claims were dismissed as "conspiracy theories."
Han Koo-Hyun, president of the organisation charged with promoting Korean popular culture around the world, said the claims are "outrageous" and "tantamount to doubting a world record in an Olympic marathon."
Mr Han added that Japan's indifference to the song "should be viewed as a primary school kid's jealousy and envy."