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

BTS Jimin

The mega-selling K-pop band BTS isn't so popular with a Japanese television show.

It stirred anger among some Japanese BTS fans, who called it an "insult".

BTS's performance on a Japanese TV show has been cancelled, amid controversy over a t-shirt worn by Jimin.

Universal Music said it will continue to support BTS but confirmed their appearance on the live music show Music Station was cancelled.

"I am a resident of Hiroshima, I will not allow BTS to appear on the music station". "We asked about the intention behind wearing that piece of clothing and discussed with the agency, but although unfortunate, after an overall consideration of the situation, we have decided that this appearance will be postponed".

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BTS' planned appearance on "Music Station", a flagship music program of Japanese broadcaster Asahi, has been canceled, stirring up a whirlwind of controversy. It also shows imagery of Koreans celebrating their liberation from Japan after the bombs were dropped.

The shirt features the words "Patriotism Our History Liberation Korea" repeated next to an image of an atomic bomb's mushroom cloud (though it's hard to tell, it appears to be the Nagasaki explosion) and a picture of Koreans being liberated from Japanese colonialism.

Jimin reportedly wore the shirt in August 2017 when Koreans celebrate the end of Japanese occupation. Meanwhile, last month, South Korea's court ruled that Japan must compensate Korean victims of forced wartime labor from World War Two for the unfair labor. While some said they understood how it could be seen as controversial, others defended the shirt as being more about Korea's liberation than the bombing of Japan.

BTS apologised for the cancellation but made no reference to the T-shirt. Either way, BTS has been bumped from the guest list, and considering that Music Station has made the unusual (for the Japanese entertainment industry) move of specifically citing the T-shirt, as opposed to using one of the platitudes such as "due to various circumstances" that are often used by Japanese media organizations, BTS might be out of the program's good graces for some time to come.

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