Many South Korean movie and music stars are just as popular in Japan as they are at home. And last week’s disaster in Japan is bringing out the best in them. Actor Bae Yong-joon, who became a superstar in the 2003 TV drama “Winter Sonata, donated 1 billion won, or about $900,000, to a relief organization in Japan, his agency said Monday. Mr. Bae is one of the most popular Korean stars in Japan. Even today, Japanese fans of his show visit the places where it was filmed.
bae yong joon – winter sonata
On his website Monday, he wrote that he felt a “sense of powerlessness” as he watched reports of the disaster and its effects. “I am too worried about the safety of my family,” he wrote, referring to his Japanese fans as family.
The Japanese office of Mr. Bae’s management company asked Japan’s National Tourism Organization how to make the donation and was directed to a government-run charity, said Winnie An, a spokeswoman for the star.