The Nizi project, which was ambitiously organized by JYP, has recently been embroiled in a controversy over its pro-Japanese rumors.
On the 23rd, a post asked an online community whether the Nizi project was pro-Japanese or not.
The Nizi project is a project joined by JYP Entertainment CEO Park Jin-young and Sony Music’s Muramatsu Shansuke with the goal of debuting a local girl group in Japan.
CEO Park Jin-young held a press conference at Sony Music’s headquarters in Tokyo on Feb 7th to announce his detailed plans.
Through the project, he expressed his ambition of putting into reality a K-Pop industry run by 3 stages of JYP 2.0’s “Globalization by Localization” which he had talked about last year.
The three-stage K-pop, which Park Jin-young explained, goes beyond simply exporting Korean content overseas, and directly nurturing and producing talent overseas.
Targeted contestants for the audition of the Nizi Project are women who can speak Japanese fluently from the age of 15 to 22 starting in May this year. Trainees who pass the audition will be given a chance to fulfill their dreams on the world stage with full support from JYP.
However, the public is divided over the issue.
The main cause of this controversy is why would a girl group that consists of Japanese members from the beginning be called by the name K-Pop. A K-Pop song should be written in the Korean language which is a basic thing. Why would a group with only Japanese members singing in Japanese be called K-Pop, they said.
They are worried that the Japanese people will be able to enjoy a modified J-pop rather than K-pop because they will be able to have opportunities to perform and appear on world stages. The controversy intensified when the audition for the Nizi project was limited to “females who speaks Japanese fluently”.
Netizens are voicing out much criticisms, “I don’t know why Korean producers are raising Japanese trainees. Focus more on the Korean girl groups please“, and “I doubt its validity“.
The recent controversy over pro-Japanese activities is a hot potato for K-pop fans. As K-pop’s popularity is growing worldwide, the fandom side is also paying keen attention to the issue.
In September 2018, BTS also received criticism from the public and fans for their controversial collaboration with Yasushi Akimoto who is said to be “right-wing and female-depreciation”. Amid much controversy, BTS solved the problem by canceling the collaboration and apologizing.
The Nizi project that JYP is working hard on.
Public attention is focusing on how they will react to criticism that the project is pro-Japanese.