The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current, September 17, 2018, Page Page 3, Image 3

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

September 17, 2018
Korean boy bands, soccer stars march to different beats
SERVICE FOR SOME. South Korea’s Son
Heung-min celebrates on the medal podium after de-
feating Japan in the men’s soccer gold medal match
at the 18th Asian Games in Bogor, Indonesia. All play-
ers on the soccer squad were rewarded for the gold
medal by receiving exemptions from 21 months of
military service that South Korean men must start by
the time they are 28. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
By John Duerden
The Associated Press
EOUL, South Korea — Boy band
BTS hit the top of the charts not
long after Son Heung-min and his
South Korean soccer team stepped atop
the Asian Games podium in Indonesia.
The performers and athletes brought
plenty of acclaim to the country, but it has
sparked a national debate on military
Son Heung-min, who plays for
Tottenham in the English Premier League
and is the country’s most recognizable
sports star, helped his team win a gold
medal at the Asian Games. All players on
the squad were rewarded for it by
receiving exemptions from 21 months of
military service that South Korean men
must start by the time they are 28.
A total of 42 athletes won military
exemption by winning gold medals in
various sports in Indonesia. The govern-
ment offers the same incentive for any
athlete who wins a medal at the 2020
Tokyo Olympics.
The rules that came into effect in 1973,
giving military exemptions to successful
athletes or classical musicians or ballet
dancers who win certain local and
international events, but there is nothing
for pop stars who gain international fame.
BTS fans have launched a number of
online petitions to support their group, but
in South Korea as a whole, opinion on the
wider issue, always sensitive in a country
that is still technically at war with North
Korea, is mixed. A July poll on increasing
exemptions for athletes found 48 percent
of 500 respondents in favor with 44 percent
seeing it as excessive.
Regardless, the existing guidelines
proved to be such a valuable lure that Son
gambled on taking a short break from his
Premier League duties in order to fly to
Jakarta for the continental event. Now the
26-year-old forward can return to Europe
and continue the lucrative five-year con-
tract without the prospect of a long break
for military service hanging over him.
Goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo had already
registered to start his service with army
team Sangju Sangmu in December, but the
reprieve means the 26-year-old can follow
his dream and play overseas.
“I know that fans expect me to go play in
Europe and I will try my best to show that I
am good enough,” Cho said.
Being on top of your game in the
international arena doesn’t give pop stars
a break from the military service. Just
Undersea eruption detected
at Japan’s Iwo Jima
TOKYO (AP) — Signs of undersea volcanic eruptions
have been detected at Iwo Jima, the site of one of the
bloodiest battles in World War II, meteorological and
defense officials said.
Aerial photos taken by navy aircraft showed seawater
shooting as high as 33 feet above the surface just off the
island’s southern coast, the Japan Meteorological Agency
The island, which has been renamed Ioto, has shown
increased volcanic activity, the agency said, warning of
more eruptions. The island is 780 miles south of Tokyo.
Ioto last had an undersea explosion off its northern coast
in 2013, and small overland explosions at a few places in
2015, the agency said.
Defense officials said troops stationed on the island are
safe and there are no evacuation plans. The island is
closed to civilians, except for those with permits to search
for the remains of more than 10,000 soldiers still
unaccounted for or to attend memorial services and other
special events.
Virtually all of the Japanese soldiers defending the tiny
island died in the battle in early 1945, which claimed
21,570 Japanese and 6,821 American lives.
Japan has about 100 active volcanoes and is frequently
jolted by earthquakes. Earlier this month, a magnitude
6.7 quake on the northern island of Hokkaido killed more
than 40 and injured hundreds.
Japan’s foreign minister says
country to open to foreigners
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Japan is gearing up to accept
more foreign workers as its own population is on the brink
of a steep decline, foreign minister Taro Kono said.
Kono told a World Economic Forum meeting in Hanoi
that Japan gains “value added” by accepting foreigners,
especially since its aging population and low birth rate
mean the country is shrinking by a half-million people per
“We cannot sustain our society like that,” he said in
response to a question during a panel discussion. “We are
opening up our country. We are opening up our labor
market to foreign countries. We are now trying to come up
with a new work permit policy so I think everyone shall be
welcome in Japan if they are willing to assimilate into
Japanese society.”
Japan has traditionally resisted accepting migrant
Continued on page 16
three days after the soccer team won at the
Asian Games, BTS became just one of a
select few artists to achieve a second No. 1
on the Billboard Artist 100 chart in the
same year.
South Korea president Moon Jae-in
congratulated the band on social media by
posting: “Huge congratulations to BTS on
topping the billboard 200 for the second
Despite the accolades, the seven
members of the group will all have to
report for duty in the coming years, just as
other performers from other popular
bands such as Big Bang have in the past.
In July, opposition lawmaker Ha Tae-
kyung questioned how the exemptions
were granted.
“The general public, including young
people, wonder what makes topping the
(Key-lay or Mrs. Erickson)
Funeral & Cemetery
Arrangement Specialist
Call (503) 501-5719 or
Interpretation services available
garden hours
10 a.m.-9 p.m.
with discounted admission rates!
Free Community
3-9 p.m. — Parking lot next to
Lan Su Chinese Garden
T he Community Festival is free
and open to the public and includes
a night market, food carts, and
performances every 30 minutes!
sponsored by
Kelaiah Erickson
Plumbing l Electrical l Carpentry
Billboard chart different from winning in
other international competitions?” Ha
“Winning the former is likely to create
bigger added value. But there is no
mention of popular culture on the list,” Ha
added, also mentioning the global success
of PSY and his hit song “Gangnam Style”
that broke records in 2012 for views on
Other options have been mooted.
Sookmyung Women’s University professor
Hong Sung-soo suggested that postpone-
ments of military service may be fairer
than exemption.
“Offering a long deferment until the age
of 35 or 40 and having (the athletes)
complete their service after that could be a
way of allowing them to serve society with
the thing they are truly good at,” Hong
wrote in a national newspaper.
Korean Olympic Committee president
Lee Kee-heung said at the end of the Asian
Games that a points system, with credit
accrued over time, may be preferable to the
existing rule, which rewards medallists
from the Olympics and champions from
the Asian Games.
“I have thought about a system benefit-
ting athletes who acquire a lot of ‘mileage’
with performances in the Olympics, Asian
Games, and world championships,” Lee
Continued on page 16
(971) 407-3243
Lincoln Memorial Park & Funeral Home
11801 S.E. Mt. Scott Blvd.
Portland, OR 97086
September 22, 2018
celebrating one of China’s most important cultural festivals