“Parasite” actor expects film to boost Japan-Korea cultural ties

One of the stars of "Parasite" said on Sunday that he hopes the film will help to improve cultural ties between Japan and Korea, which have been hampered by disputes, including a trade dispute that sparked between Asian neighbors last year.

Actor Song Kang-ho, who in the Oscar-winning film plays the father of the Kim family, said he was happy with the warm welcome that Japanese fans gave "Parasite" and hopes that the relationship will continue to improve.

"I hope we can go back to the early 2000s and take an interest in each other's work," Song told reporters at the Japan National Press Club. "Japan and Korea are close countries and can relate to each other's cultures."

“Looking at how 'Parasite' was received even in Japan, I hope that we can have a mutual interest in each other's cultures.”

Song made no direct reference to current relations, but the two countries have been going through a difficult period since last year, when a diplomatic dispute over Japanese compensation for World War II workers was exacerbated by a trade dispute.

Japanese filmmakers have adopted “Parasite” since it opened in the country on January 10. The film took its Oscar to the top of the Japanese box office last weekend and has now become the most profitable South Korean film in Japan of all time.

"I came to Tokyo because I want to express my gratitude for the interest that all filmmakers have shown," said film director Bong Joon-ho at the same press conference.

“Parasite,” a grim social satire about the disparities between rich and poor in Seoul, made history this month by becoming the first foreign-language film to receive Hollywood's biggest award.

The film, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival last year, also won three other Academy Awards, including that of Bong's best director, who won Hollywood royalty, including Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino.

Source: Asahi // Image credits: Asahi

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