Japan TV pulls Korean drama over island spat

A Japanese television station said Wednesday it was postponing the airing of a South Korean drama series starring an actor who took part in a swim to a group of islands at the centre of a territorial row.

BS Nippon Corporation said it would replace "A Man Called God", which features popular actor Song Il-Kook and was to due air from next week, with a re-run of another South Korean drama series.

"We have decided to change our programming after considering the impact of the main actor swimming to Takeshima," a station spokeswoman said, referring to the isles known as Dokdo in Korean.

A team of South Koreans reached the islands on Wednesday, finishing a 220-kilometre (135-mile) relay swim from the east coast, less than a week after President Lee Myung-Bak visited the disputed chain, provoking ire in Tokyo.

The team led by singer Kim Jang-Hoon completed the swim to mark South Korea's Liberation Day, which commemorates the 1945 end of Japan's occupation of the peninsula.

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