The political situation in Northern Asia has provided a stumbling block for the Eurovision Asia Song Contest.

The Executive Producer of the contest, Paul Clarke stated in an interview with ESC Insight that they are ‘really serious about doing it in 2018’, however that political issues have caused problems. The current political situation in North Asia between China, Japan and South Korea has proved to be a serious stumbling block.

Mr Clarke stated that Hunan Television, the Chinese broadcaster which shows the Eurovision Song Contest, was approached last year to be involved in the contest. However political tensions lead to issues with the possibility of a Japanese win on Chinese soil. The Executive Producer also went on to note the banning of South Korean performers from Chinese television during the past year as an issue.

The following countries have either confirmed their participation or shown an interest in participating:

  • Australia (Confirmed)
  • China (Possible Steering Group Member)
  • Japan (Possible Steering Group Member)
  • South Korea (Possible Steering Group Member)

The contest which was announced in March 2016 is expected to see around 20 countries compete in the Asian spin-off of the 61-year-old Eurovision Song Contest which is held annually in Europe. The contest would be the first time that a Eurovision spin-off has been successfully held outside of Europe. Previously the EBU has sold the rights to the contest in Asia, the Arab World and is looking at a US contest.

Politics at Song Contests

Politics has always come to a fore at Song Contests, including the Eurovision Song Contest. Whether it be Lebanon’s refusal to broadcast the Israeli performance or Jordan’s decision to cut the television feed when Israel was winning in 1978. This years contest has also seen a stand off between the host nation of Ukraine and neighbours Russia, who will not be competing this week in Kyiv.

Source: ESC Insight