A third-generation “hallyu”, or Korean Wave – the term describing the rise in global popularity of South Korean culture – is blooming in Japan, reports suggest.

Fans – some as young as 10, but most in their 20s – are not concerned about soured Korea-Japan relations, or politics in general.

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The Billboard-chart-topping K-pop boy band BTS and TWICE, a girl group featuring a Japanese band member with hits including Cheer Up and Knock Knock, are leading the new wave.

TWICE joined NHK’s Red & White Year-end Song Festival – a major festival in Japan, which invites only a few select performers.

BTS, which is busy promoting its latest single Fake Love, taken from the hit album, “Love Yourself: Tear” is also a hot act in Japan now.

Japan’s NTV produced and broadcast a special programme about BTS on June 7.

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According to Japanese reports, the first-generation hallyu started in 2003 with Korean television drama series Winter Sonata starring Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo.

The second followed in 2010-2012, with boy band TVXQ and girl group KARA.

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This article was written by Dong Sun-hwa for The Korea Times.