TVXQ member Hero Jaejoong (far right) in Japanese TV series "Hard to Say I Love You" [Fuji TV]
Hero Jaejoong of Korean idol group TVXQ has made a successful acting debut in a Japanese TV series which premiered on Fuji TV last week.
According to statistics released by a local research firm, the first episode of drama "Hard to Say I Love You" scored a 11.9 percent viewership rating, coming in second behind Asahi TV's popular crime drama "Omiya-san" with 15.4 percent.
Hero Jaejoong appears as a Korean medical equipment salesman alongside top Japanese actors Eita and Juri Ueno of smash hit TV series "Nodame Cantabile".
Hero, whose real name is Kim Jaejoong, debuted in 2004 as part of five-member boy band TVXQ. The group became one of the most phenomenal K-pop acts in the country and throughout Asia, selling numerous records and recently making history in the Japanese music scene.
The band had officially stopped working as a group in Korea since last July due to a legal dispute between three of its members -- Xiah Junsu, Hero Jaejoong and Micky Yoochun -- and talent agency SM Entertainment over their 13-year exclusive contract.
The three members had asked the court to nullify their contract with SM, claiming that their contract period was "too long", and the court had ruled in favor of them, ordering provisional disposition of the contract.
However, the legal battle heated up again when SM filed an objection against the court's decision and sued the three singers for KRW 2.2 billion won, demanding financial compensation for damages the agency allegedly suffered from the members' investment in cosmetics business and their cancelled concert in China.
Last Thursday, Xiah, Hero and Micky announced through their Japanese management agency AVEX that they had formed a new group through which they will be pursuing their music careers.
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