K-pop group 2PM members Taecyeon (left), Wooyoung (second to left), Nichkhun (third to left), Junho (second to right), Jun. K (second to right) and Chansung (right) on the cover of their sixth Japan single “GIVE ME LOVE,” to be out on May 29, 2013. [JYP Entertainment]


Q. What was the biggest difficulty when you began activities in Japan, where the language and culture are all so different?

Wooyoung: The language barrier was the biggest hardship for us. To have smooth communication through music, language would make it easy for us to deliver something but we couldn’t do it at the beginning. So we studied Japanese a lot and took lessons. Junho traveled around in Japan, while Chansung and Taecyeon starred in Japanese TV series. We put a lot of effort into learning Japanese.

Q. What would you say to people who have a hostile attitude to Hallyu, the Korean Wave? Some people say the anti-Hallyu exist in Japan and Hallyu is on downside when it compared to last year.

Taeceyon: Anti-Hallyu was always there. I think it’s about the difference between cultures. Korea and Japan have different cultural backgrounds so those are what cause misunderstandings between  the two countries. One of the goals we’re aiming at from our overseas activities is to get rid of those differences. People who like 2PM would have better knowledge about the Korean culture and they would be able to talk about Korean culture to their children and so on.

Our activities would help the two countries take in each other’s cultures and do away with the cultural differences. Korean artists should consider themselves as peacemakers during their overseas activities and that could be a way to remove those anti-Hallyu sentiments.

Q. Nichkhun, you took times off after your driving under the influence incident in July of 2012. What did you think about during your break and have you changed?

Nichkhun: My mind was filled with so many thoughts. I felt so bad to the other members, support staff at my firm JYP Entertainment and especially, to my fans. I admit my fault and I will never make the same mistake again.

Q. There were a few hardships for the group in your five-year-long career. What do you think is the power of keeping the team going?

Jun. K: It’s true that there were many good and bad things happening in the past. But we could overcome those hardships by becoming one and now we feel like a family. We sometimes have conflicts but we shove it away by having conversations together and sharing our opinions.

Q. You guys are about to ente your late twenties. How do you stay physically fit when you’re so busy with concert tours, TV series and variety shows? When do you feel it is too much or you are getting older? (laugh)

Chansung: It’s best to eat well and work out in our spare moments. Members take good care of themselves so we don’t feel any physical burden yet. I think that we need to evolve more. I’ll keep putting in more effort to maintain a good physique.

Taecyeon: I keep fit at CS Fitness [the fitness center Chansung runs]. (laugh)

Q. What’s the next goal for 2PM, since you made your dream to reach the Tokyo Dome.

Jun. K: We’ve halted our activities in Korea for two years. Our new album, the third full-length record, is to be released in May. We’re going to do vigorous activities in Korea. We’d like to regain our stand in our hometown. I feel nervous, all of sudden. (laugh)

Q. You must feel various emotions about the comeback. What affects you the most?

Jun. K: First of all, I’d like to say sorry to our Korean fans as our new album will be out after such a long time, two years. We’ve mulled over what kind of image, concept and performance would best for our comeback. We’ve had meetings for months about how we should approach the general public. After a long period of deep consideration, we chose to show how we’ve grown up as men. You would feel our evolved music in the forthcoming album. We’ve put a lot of effort into deciding the concept and image. We’ll appreciate your interest and support for that.

Q. Who is your role model? Do you think you can still rock as a dance music singer after 30?

Wooyoung: Right now, we’re very confident about it. There is not a single problem in our teamwork at this moment. Our teamwork is the best ever and like Jun. K said, we talk together a lot. If one feels bad then he talks about it straight away, and the other members al listen. Personally, I look up to our senior idol group Shinwa for keeping the team for 15 years. Maybe we’ll have something else to do when we turn 30 but while achieving our individual dreams, I believe we could achieve our dream together.

Q. One Last Comment?

Jun. K: We were able to gain popularity in Japan, stand where we are and host this concert at the Tokyo Dome, thanks to our senior K-pop singers, such as TVXQ!, JYJ and BoA. I appreciate their effort in making it easy for us to do our activities here. I’d like to share this honor with them. Taecyeon: It’s going to be the best show by 2PM.

Reporter: Lee Hye Ji, Editor: Nemo Kim