A recent press conference held for the newly announced Yakuza: Kiwami 2 garnered a great deal of animosity from South Koreans as returning seiyuu Susumu Terajima (known for his Yakuza roles in movies) made a rather controversial joke, which was apparently so bad that many are hoping that the game won’t be cancelled in South Korea as a result.
Susumu Terajima’s “highly offensive” joke after being given the opportunity to have the last word on the event’s conclusion:
“There are…several of the people up on this stage are Koreans, truly… I only hope no missiles come flying from Korea.”
North Korea had fired three missiles into the sea between themselves and Japan earlier that very day, making Terajima’s comment as incendiary as the many missiles the nation has pointed at him – after Terajima made his joke, Japanese comedian Yuichi Kimura seemingly predicted the future by claiming aloud “there’s going to be a public apology for this.”
Surely enough, Sega Korea provided a groveling apology to those unable to take such an incursion of reality:
Apology for the comment made by a speaker at the Sega sponsored event:
There was an inappropriate comment from the speaker at the Yakuza Studio’s new title announcement event, which took place on 8/26.
We sincerely apologize for the anger caused everyone by the incident.
Sega group is working hard to deliver emotional experience to the players worldwide and deeply regrets this incident.
We will ensure that such an incident will not happen in the future.
Once again, we sincerely apologize.
Across South Korean message boards, some of the hatred apparently stems from Terajima’s usage of the word “Chousenjin” for “Korean person”, regarded by more enthusiastically sensitive Koreans as an offensive slur – some of the negative comments:
“Some who are defending this are saying the word Chousenjin is talking about North Korea and this is a misunderstanding and what not, but it’s not just the word. This is an official formal event to announce the game where Korean Japanese are present, and the situation where they are being mentioned and saying don’t shoot missiles is ridiculous. Even if it was a domestic [South Korean] game, they’ll still be blasted regardless of what word was used. If you said, ‘I am saying this because there are Japanese people here. Please solve the Comfort Women and Dokdo issue’, it’ll have major backlash.”
“Right, so some of the people on stage are jjokbari [Korean slur for Japanese] so I’d like to ask nuclear fallout to not blow here from fuckin’ Japan. Thank you.”
“I can understand how some people want to defend the situation because they think the game might get cancelled but don’t defend his comment. What’s not is not. I am not going to pressure you to not buy it but you have to be able to say what’s not right is not right. Anyway, I am surprised that such an uneducated person is a voice actor.”
With the Korean peninsula’s main exports now apparently being K-pop and SRBMs, the Japanese can perhaps be forgiven their skepticism…