Japanese TV Networks Reschedule 'Titanic,' 'Pokemon' Episode After South Korean Ferry Tragedy

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TOKYO – Japanese TV networks have changed their programming schedules for the week following the South Korean ferry tragedy.

Satellite TV network Wowow was scheduled to air Titanic on Friday but has replaced the film about the well-known ship tragedy with King Kong. 

Meanwhile, an episode of Pokemon series Pocket Monsters that features a submarine searching for a sunken ship, due to be aired Thursday on TV Tokyo, has also been rescheduled.  

STORY: Jeonju Film Fest to Proceed Solemnly as South Korea Mourns Shipwreck

Wowow is Japan's biggest satellite network, while TV Tokyo is the smallest of the five major commercial networks. Both companies issued statements on their websites saying they were rescheduling the programming out of respect for the victims of the disaster.  

The latest developments in the South Korean ferry disaster, in which more than 300 people died last week, have been covered widely in the Japanese media, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has offered public condolences in a number of speeches.

Japan also offered to send rescue teams to the site of the disaster in the immediate aftermath. Almost 200 bodies have yet to be recovered from the Sewol ferry, which was carrying nearly 500 passengers, many of them high-school students, to Jeju Island.  

STORY: South Korea Shipwreck: Entertainment Industry Halts Amid Rescue Efforts

Relations between Japan and South Korea have been strained in recent years due to a territorial dispute and a rekindling of animosity over World War II and the occupation of the Korean peninsula by the Imperial Japanese Army. 

The leaders of Japan and Korea were brought together for a meeting in Holland last month by President Barack Obama, who arrived in Tokyo for a three-day state visit on Wednesday.  

Twitter: @GavinJBlair

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