The Wider Image: K-Pop stardom lures Japanese youth to Korea despite diplomatic chill
Japanese Miyu Takeuchi, a trainee with the K-pop agency Mystic Entertainment, sings during a training session in Seoul, South Korea, March 22, 2019. Takeuchi said it wasn't a difficult decision to leave a 10-year career with a top idol band AKB48 back home in Japan to sign with the K-pop agency Mystic Entertainment in March as a trainee. Even with her experience, she has seven hours of vocal training a day and two-hour dance lessons twice a week, plus early morning Korean lessons. She is not allowed to have a boyfriend but she says she has no regrets, despite the fact there is no guarantee she will make it. "I don't know how long my training period will be, but it has to reach a point where my coaches and management company say 'Miyu, you are a professional!'" REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji SEARCH "SOUTHKOREA KPOP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.