Recently, Korean netizens have been angered as the Japanese idol group Arashi made a statement that seemed to undermine K-pop artists.
The group stated that the root of non-Japanese groups' success is thanks to the famous Japanese talent agency Johnny's. The members of Arashi interviewed with Variety and mentioned the success of K-pop as it explodes globally.
Matsumoto Jun stated that he "harbors no hard feelings" but stated that "What you’re currently seeing now with non-Japanese groups as well all really found its roots in the foundational work that Johnny did back in the 1960s."
Korean netizens believe that the "Non-Japanese group" that he mentioned is an indirect expression of the K-pop artists. Currently, K-pop is the only music that is gaining worldwide popularity among music from Asian countries.
Matsumoto Jun stated, "Johnny created so many boy bands in his 60 years of working and left an indelible mark not just on the entertainment industry of Japan, by bringing it up to a global standard, but also on Asian pop culture overall, even outside of Japan, [visible in] the rise of the Asian pop generation."
Netizens have interpreted Matsumoto Jun's claims in the interview as an intention to emphasize that Arashi's overseas expansion is not following K-pop, but rather they are the original.
After seeing Arashi's interview, many Korean netizens have responded negatively in online communities and social media outlets as they commented, "It seems they have an inferiority complex," and "I feel bad for them rather than anger when they say K-pop success is thanks to Johnny's. They must really feel inferior."
Previously, Arashi announced in January of last year that the members will go their own separate ways. They held a press conference in Tokyo and declared that the group will stop their activities in December. However, Arashi started their music activity as they released an all English digital single "Whenever You Call" instead of discontinuing their promotion. Therefore some believed they decided to target the U.S. music industry in response to BTS's recent success with "Dynamite."
"Isn't the K-pop rooted in western music? Like the US?"
"They definitely feel inferior to K-pop groups."
"Man, they need to understand making remarks like that makes them more uncool."
"So this is how Arashi shows their jealousy over K-pop. They should be more cool about it."
"I feel bad for them. lol."
"They won't be able to be successful in Korea with visuals like that and the lack of skills. How dare they compare K-pop groups to Japanese groups?"