Actor Song remains calm on Japan's entry denial

By Kim Ji-soo

Hallyu actor Song Il-gook responded matter-of-factly to a senior Japanese official's comment that he may not be allowed to enter Japan.

Appearing on a cable network Japanese Senior Vice Foreign Minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi said that it's regrettable but Song may find it difficult to visit Japan in the future because that's the state of Japanese sentiment right now. Following that comment, Japanese satellite television channels BS Nippon and BS Japan put off airing "Man known as god", a series starring the 40-year-old actor.

"I have nothing to say, except just call out the names of my three sons, Dae-han, Min-guk, Man-se", Song tweeted Friday. The names put together means "Victory, Republic of Korea". Song became a father to triplets in March. "Hallyu" or Korean wave remains strong in Japan, even as Japan continues to challenge Korea's sovereignty over Dokdo.

The actor took part in singer Kim Jang-hoon's successful swimming campaign to the Dokdo islets on Aug. 15, amid high tension between the two Koreas. Song has appeared in popular television dramas such as "Jumong", which was a whopping success when it aired in Japan.

As much as "hallyu" or Korean wave is well recieved in Japan, there have been undercurrents of anti-hallyu as well. In February, top Korean actress Kim Tae-hee whose works include "IRIS" had her commercial for a cosmetic product cancelled just a day before the press conference was scheduled. Kim and her actor brother Lee Wan had served as Dokdo advocates in 2005.