Major K-pop spectacle the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) will skip both South Korea and Hong Kong this year in favour of Japan, amid ongoing regional trade tensions and political protests. Regarded as one of the most important Korean music awards – recognising acts from the world of K-pop and beyond — MAMA is typically hosted in multiple locations, with the 2018 event taking place over three dates in three locations: Seoul, Hong Kong and the Japanese city of Saitama. But this year’s 21st annual event will be hosted for just one night only in Japan, organisers have confirmed, with a single ceremony to be held at the Nagoya Dome, in the city of the same name, on December 4. It marks the first time the awards have not been held in Hong Kong in eight years, while the decision to skip Korea comes amid an ongoing trade row between Seoul and Tokyo. Entertainment giant CJ ENM, the organiser, said most of its people agreed that the civil and cultural exchange should be treated separately from political issues and go on. Why is Jungkook embroiled in rumours he is dating a tattoo artist? “MAMA has positioned itself as the best music awards in Asia,” Shin Hyung-kwan, music content director of CJ ENM, was quoted as saying. “We will continue striving to make K-pop and Asian music mainstream worldwide.” We will continue striving to make K-pop and Asian music mainstream worldwide Shin Hyung-kwan, Music Content Director of CJ ENM The celebrity lineup has not been disclosed. Following Tokyo's export curb in July on components needed for Korean firms to produce semiconductors and display panels, many Koreans have been boycotting Japanese products. In retaliation, Korean netizens are giving CJ ENM the cold shoulder for its decision. One online user commented: “CJ is hosting an event in Japan while Koreans are boycotting Japan. The company seems to love Japanese money a lot.” MAMA began in 1999 as the "Mnet Music Video Festival." It changed to MAMA in 2009. Tickets for K-pop girl group MAMAMOO’s concerts snapped up Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter. This article was originally written by Dong Sun-hwa for The Korea Times .