Japanese TV show axes BTS performance over atomic bomb T-shirt

Brunilde Fioravanti
Novembre 9, 2018

The long-sleeved shirt, worn by BTS member Jimin, also reads "patriotism" and "Korea" while depicting a celebration of the country's liberation from Japan in 1945.

The t-shirt appeared to reference the end of the Japanese occupation of Korea, which ended in 1945 after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

There are conflicting reports as to when exactly Jimin wore the shirt.

The top is made by the South Korea-based clothing brand Our History, and is listed as sold out on the company's website.

This year, the BTS became the first K-pop band to win a Billboard Music Award; the first K-pop act to sell out a U.S. arena; and broke the record for biggest music video debut, a distinction previously held by Taylor Swift.

BTS are the leading lights of the K-Pop phenomenon and made history earlier this year by becoming the first K-Pop band to top the United States album charts, a sign of the genre's growing global appeal.

The worldwide superstars were due to perform on TV Asahi on Friday, but the station abruptly cancelled the show after a photo of member Jimin wearing the shirt went viral.

TV Asahi said in a statement: "BTS' appearance scheduled for the 9th has been cancelled". The network said it talked to the record label about the shirt and then made a decision to cancel the appearance.

"A t-shirt design worn by one of the members caused controversy. we had been discussing it with the record label".

The term K-pop refers to domestic popular music in South Korea, which can be influenced by any number of different styles and genres.

"We apologize for conveying this unfortunate news to the fans who were looking forward to it", the agency stated.

Ties between Japan and South Korea continue to be soured by bitter disputes over history and territory stemming from Japan's brutal 1910-45 colonial rule over the peninsula.

BTS apologised in a statement to its Japanese fans for not being able to make the appearance, without elaborating. "We will work hard so that BTS can continue to meet their fans with better music and performances".

Japan became the first nation to suffer an atomic bombing on 6 August 1945, at Hiroshima.

Japan surrendered six days later.

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