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Choi Ji-woo Chosen Top Korean Star in Japan

2005/01/19 | 170 views | Permalink | Source

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SEOUL (Yonhap) - Soap celebrity Choi Ji-woo, best known for her leading role in "Winter Sonata (Kyoul Yonga)", is the most highly regarded South Korean star by the Japanese public, a survey revealed Tuesday.
Gallup Korea, a Seoul-based private research firm, and Tokyo-based Nippon Research Center released the joint study conducted last month on 616 adults in South Korea and 320 Japanese people aged 20-69.

The survey showed that 13.8 percent of Japanese respondents have a strong interest in Choi, who is nicknamed "Ji-woo hime" (princess in Japanese) for her elegant appearance.

When asked to name their favorite South Korean celebrities, 9.7 percent chose female singer Boa, while 8.1 percent supported TV actress Yun Son-ha.

Yun, a fluent Japanese speaker, endeared herself to the Japanese viewing audience after contributing regularly to various entertainment shows.

However, Bae Yong-joon, who sparked interest in South Korean culture in Japan with his role in "Winter Sonata", ranked fourth with only 7.5 percent selecting him as their top pick.

"Bae's popularity is seen to be limited to middle-aged women in their 50s and 60s", said Kang Hee-jeong, research fellow of Gallup.

The remaining 60.9 percent refrained from answering the question, partly because they are not well acquainted with local celebrities, she added.

The survey found South Koreans do not reciprocate the interest in their closest neighbor's celebrities, with 94.2 percent denying they have a favorite or refuting any knowledge of Japanese stars.

Popular boys' rock group X-Japan earned the distinction of being South Koreans' most popular Japanese star, with 1.2 percent of respondents citing them.

Movie actress Ryoko Hirosue and female singers Namie Amuro and Hikaru Utada followed in order of the size of their Korean following, according to the poll.

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