SEOUL, Jul. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — Despite an unofficial ban of Korean cultural content, the principal Chinese state television broadcaster CCTV has praised “The Battleship Island”, a Korean film that deals with the forced labor during the Japanese occupation, as an anti-Japanese blockbuster and devoted significant airtime to coverage of the film.
A CCTV account of “The Battleship Island” noted that the movie, which premiered on July 26, is based on a true story and features Korean movie stars such as Hwang Jung-min, Song Joong-ki, and So Ji-sub. The Chinese broadcaster also reported that the film achieved the biggest box-office opening in history by attracting some 970,000 moviegoers on the first day.
“Battleship Island is an island near Nagasaki where many Koreans were taken and forced to work in a sea bottom coal mine, which is the reason why it is also called Hell Island,” said CCTV. The program also noted that Japan has designated the island as a relic of its modernization and succeeded in registering it as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015.
The media also conveyed the reactions of Korean moviegoers after watching the movie, saying that Koreans were infuriated at the island’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
CCTV also detailed the statement by Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga that “The Battleship Island” was not a documentary movie based on historical fact, and also touched on negative coverage from Japanese media.
As the relations between South Korea and China have deteriorated over the deployment of a THAAD missile defense system on the peninsula, Chinese authorities have imposed strict restrictions on Korean cultural content, but appear to have made an exception for “The Battleship Island”.
Another state-run media, New China News Agency, also argued on July 24 that Japan must disclose all the vices and crimes it committed on Battleship Island during the Second World War.
“Since China and Korea share the historical period of time marked by Japanese invasion and occupation, Battleship Island has received much attention amid the conflict over THAAD.” said an Industry insider. “It is very exceptional for the state-run media to broadcast a lengthy report on a Korean film.”
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)