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Universal Music Japan’s CEO Koike Kazuhiko discusses his promotion plan for KARA and SNSD in Weekly Toyo Keizai (A Business Journal).

“They have good looks and great singing abilities. It's a waste to keep them just in Korea, so they should sell in Japan as well.“ Major record company Universal Music’s CEO Koike Kazuhiko, in addition to being the company president, he praises Korean girl groups KARA and SNSD in this way. He seems confident in giving both of these girls from his company success through full-blown promotions, which will begin this summer.


(Traditionally), for foreign artists to succeed in Japan a moderate level of Japanese skill was essential, unless they were top class artists. However, that’s not really the case now.

Speaking frankly President Koike said, we'll decide which promotion method to use depending on the artists' characters. Whether that means mainly doing activities in the Japanese market, or using a similar promotion method to the one we use for artists from Western countries doing activities mainly outside Japan. Discussed above, KARA has looks like Japanese idols and their Japanese songs should be easily accepted. Japanese was studied enough for them to be active in the center of Japan.

He explains that, SNSD and KARA are completely different, their appeal as “real-deal artists” is a profitable plan, and that Japanese ability isn’t really necessary when using the same promotion techniques as western music.

Translated by:
Source: Weekly Toyo Keizai

cr: graphy777@twitter

Korea’s strongest girl group is finally coming to Japan this summer!!
They’re pretty like Barbie dolls with their beautiful and radiant long legs, men and women of all ages love these 9 angels. It really seems to be a girls’ generation -----.

Our password is, “Right now, it’s Girls’ Generation!”

—In Korea you guys well known for being fashion leaders, what is a noteworthy fashion item for this summer?

Taeyeon: Because sleeveless shirts and mini bottoms increase in the summer, I think it’s fun to wear vintage bracelets on ones arms and legs.

Hyoyeon: Wear simple clothes with big accessories is a big point. It’s cute to layer several bracelets and wear wrist watches .

Tiffany: This year I’ve noticed floral printed one piece dresses and airy long dresses. It seems their really popular in my neighborhood too.

Sunny: Of course short shorts are in! Short shorts are really popular among the SNSD members right now.

Sooyoung: Oh, yes! Long shirts are also stylish to wear.

Jessica: Plaid shirts are also good.

Seohyun: If you add comfortable strappy shoes, then you’ve already perfectly completed SNSD’s summer style.

—In addition to short shorts, what’s also popular among the members currently?

Seohyun: We watch the TV. We monitor our performances on programs.

Yoona: In June, we were all watching the World Cup. It was really exciting!

Hyoyeon: Another thing that’s popular is fruits. We love them and we’re always preparing them on location.

Yuri: Since it’s summer, we often eat shaved ice (snow-cones) and ice cream!

—You’re going to perform your Showcase concert at Ariake Coliseum (August 25th). What did you think when you found out you would be debuting in Japan?

Sooyoung: I’ve already lived in Japan before. I love Japanese food, so I was really happy.

Sunny: It’s going to be a new challenge. At first I worried with things like, “Will this turn out well?” But now I’m really looking forward to it!

Yuri: I felt in only one word, “Fight!” (Note: Fight/Faito is a Japanese version of Fighting/Hwaiting!) Because I’m together with the members, I have more anticipation than anxiety.

Yoona: I’m naturally worried about language. So, I had better do my best and study more Japanese.

—How are you studying Japanese?

Taeyeon: I’ve been interested in Japanese culture since middle school and I studied Japanese a little bit. My favorite word is….”Yatta”!? (Note: Yatta means “Hooray” or literally “I did it!”)

Hyoyeon: Right now, we’re all getting lessons through our office, and we are also studying by listening to Japanese songs and watching Japanese dramas.

Tiffany: Because I like Miyazaki Hayao’s works, I am studying by watching animes like “My Neighbor Totoro”. But, I’m still a beginner….

Yoona: I can’t really participate in the lessons at the office very much. So, I’ll tell you in the future. My favorite Japanese is “Doki doki” and “Arigatou gozaimasu”. (Note: “Doki Doki” is the sound of your heart beating and “arigatou gozaimasu” means “Thank you.”)

Jessica: I like the standard phrase “Aishiteru”. (Note: “Aishiteru” means “I love you”.) I also like the way “Chotto zutsu” sounds, it’s cute. (Note: “Chotto zutsu” means “A little bit”.)

Sunny: Weeell, this is a question but, is it true that you can hold a conversation with just the 2 words “Doumo” and “Douzo”? (Note: Doumo and Douzo have a lot of different meanings.)

—Yes, you could say that, nice discovery (Haha). Everyone, do you guys have a favorite J-POP song and Karaoke song that you’re particularly good at?

Jessica: Mika Nakashima’s “Yuki no Hana”!

Tiffany: A senpai from my company, BoA’s “Possibility”. (Note: Senpai is the same as Sunbae.) In addition to that, I also like m-flo, I have all of their albums.

Lastly, please tell us your goal for Japan.

Taeyeon: I want to quickly let everyone in Japan hear, see and feel SNSD’s music and stage performances. Please look forward to us!

Yuri: I’ll work hard so fans fill up the big venues. Everyone, let’s have fun this summer!

Translated by:
Source: Marugoto K-POP GIRLS Magazine

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