All that Korean superstar Bae Yong-joon
had to do was smile, and at the end of every sentence he spoke, there were cheers, and even when he was silent there was applause reverberating through the Tokyo Dome on Wednesday afternoon.
Bae is in Japan to promote his book "Travel in Search of Korea's Beauty". Some 45,813 people in the audience were chosen by lottery to buy a ticket to the event, which cost 8,925 yen (W117,000, US$1=W1,179). They seemed happy just to be in the same place as the man they call Yonsama.
Among them was Japan's eccentric new first lady Miyuki Hatoyama, an ardent fan of Korean soap operas. Hatoyama met Bae in the VIP Room for about 10 minutes an hour before the event, and watched the event for more than an hour in a VIP seat.
The first Japanese print run of 50,000 copies instantly sold out, and the publisher is printing more.
Korean Ambassador to Japan Kwon Chul-hyun and Lee Charm, chief of the Korea National Tourism Organization, were also present as a "2010-2012 Visit Korea Year" was declared during the event. Bae is the goodwill ambassador.