BTS performance in Japan canceled amid anger over atomic bomb shirt

Joann Johnston
November 9, 2018

Recently, a controversy arose over photos of BTS member Jimin wearing a t-shirt commemorating the day that Korea was liberated from Japanese colonial rule in 1945.

Japan, meanwhile, became the only nation to have experienced a nuclear attack when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagaski killing an estimated 200,000-plus people at the end of WWII.

Jimin, 23, was reportedly photographed wearing the shirt past year on 15 August, when Koreans mark the anniversary of the end of the Japanese occupation.

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

BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band that debuted in 2013.

The global 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.

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 U.S. album charts, a sign of the genre's growing global appeal.

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TV Asahi said in a statement: "BTS' appearance scheduled for the 9th has been cancelled. However, we chose to postpone their appearance this time", said TV Asahi in a statement published online.

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

The bombings led to Japan's surrender and the end of World War Two in Asia- as well as the end of Japan's colonial rule of the Korean peninsula which begin in 1910.

However, not all netizens are supporting the above claims, as some argued, "BTS's issue has nothing to do with IZ*ONE, don't try to make up these kinds of connections", "Keep BTS and IZ*ONE separate", "It's true that BTS getting cancelled sucks but it's not like it's IZ*ONE's fault", and such.

A BTS Japan fan site also announced their appearance had been postponed, along with an apology to fans who had been looking forward to the broadcast.

Tokyo reacted furiously in October after South Korea's top court ordered a Japanese steel giant to compensate victims of wartime forced labour programmes. "This group is making fun of the atomic bombings". This was followed by another bomb being dropped on Nagasaki on 9 August.

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