Japan TV pulls Korean drama over island spat

15 August 2012
View of the remote disputed islands, known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan
Aerial view of the remote disputed islands in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan. A Japanese television station is postponing the airing of a South Korean drama series starring an actor who took part in a swim to a group of islands at the centre of a territorial row

A Japanese television station said Wednesday it was postponing the airing of a South Korean drama series starring an actor who took part in a swim to a group of islands at the centre of a territorial row.

BS Nippon Corporation said it would replace "A Man Called God", which features popular actor Song Il-Kook and was to due air from next week, with a re-run of another South Korean drama series.

"We have decided to change our programming after considering the impact of the main actor swimming to Takeshima," a station spokeswoman said, referring to the isles known as Dokdo in Korean.

A team of South Koreans reached the islands on Wednesday, finishing a 220-kilometre (135-mile) relay swim from the east coast, less than a week after President Lee Myung-Bak visited the disputed chain, provoking ire in Tokyo.

The team led by singer Kim Jang-Hoon completed the swim to mark South Korea's Liberation Day, which commemorates the 1945 end of Japan's occupation of the peninsula.