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Changes in perception of North Korea in Japan from the Korean Wave drama “Crash Landing on You”

Ha, Seung-Hee 1

1동국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The research is based on a written interview with Japanese experts about the changing perception of North Korea in Japan, which emerged from the box office of the Korean Wave content “Crash Landing on You” in North Korea. The researchers evaluated the perception of North Korea in Japan as negative, including poverty, abnormal systems, controlled societies, military states, failed states, and criminal states. Underlying this perception was the trauma of the abduction issue and the anxiety and fear of security threats such as North Korea’s nuclear tests and missile tests. It was also found that restricted information had a significant impact on North Korea’s negative perception along with stereotypes about North Korea. In Japan, “Crash Landing on You” has expanded its perception of North Korea, reacknowledging the reality of the division of the two Koreas, and allowing content to be accommodated regardless of external political relations. It served as an opportunity for Japanese to realize that North Korea exists in a more diverse way, in addition to its stereotyped image through “Crash Landing on You”. The “Crash Landing on You” served as an information channel to understand North Korean society and reality and arouse curiosity, but there was no fundamental change in perception of North Korea’s chronic issues such as the existing abduction issue. These results show that there is a limit to the change in perception of North Korea, as they distinguish North Korea in the realm of fiction and real politics based on the Japanese people’s unchanging character and values. The Japanese media had no choice but to limit the information on North Korea according to public opinion as issues directly related to the national security, such as the abduction issue, missile, and nuclear issue, continued. As such, the lack of information on North Korea in Japan has led to a limitation that can only be biased. Given that the new format of the drama has contributed positively to the expansion of awareness in North Korea, it is necessary to deliver more diverse information on North Korea in Japan, and the role of the media is important here.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.