Japan falls out of love with K-drama

Taipei - At a time when much of East Asia is in the grip of My Love From The Star fever, Japan has seemed immune to the latest K-drama phenomenon.

This is because Japanese television stations have stopped airing South Korean shows, in a dispute between Tokyo and Seoul over a set of remote islands known as Takeshima in Japanese and Dokdo in Korean, says Taiwan's Nownews website.

The islets are administered by South Korea but also claimed by Japan. Tensions between the two countries flared up in 2012, when South Korea's then president Lee Myung Bak visited the islands and Japan recalled its ambassador to Seoul.

TBS, a major Japanese station, has terminated the primetime K-drama slot it created four years ago, says Nownews. It has not aired a Korean show after the body-switching romance Secret Garden early this year, adds the report.

The Korean Wave landed in Japan in 2003, when the tear-jerking romance Winter Sonata aired on NHK and older Japanese women fell into a collective swoon over its leading man Bae Yong Joon, 41.

About a decade on, My Love From The Star has won hearts most overwhelmingly in China, where the sci-fi romance was shown online on the same nights as in South Korea.

Kim Soo Hyun, 26, who plays an alien professor in the show, is also one of the most sought-after actors now.