A Japanese TV network has cancelled a scheduled appearance from popular K-pop boyband BTS, after a member of the band wore a shirt depicting the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Jimin, one of the band’s seven members, first wore the shirt in October. The design features several lines of the Korean independence slogan, “Patriotism ourhistory (sic) Liberation Korea,” alongside photos of the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945.
More than 120,000 civilians died in the blast, both instantly and from radiation poisoning in the following months. The shirt has been criticised in Japan as glorifying the bombing, which is viewed in South Korea as a critical step towards independence from Japanese colonial rule, reports BBC. The shirt is still available for sale online for 49,000 Yen (£330).
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The band was scheduled to perform on TV Asashi’s Music Station show on Friday, but an official statement from the station officially announced the show’s cancellation.
“Although some t-shirt designs that had previously been worn by members caused controversy...we had been discussing it with the record label. However, we decided to postpone their appearance this time.”
In a statement to fans, the official BTS website said: “We apologise to all the fans who [looked forward] to it, which is disappointing. BTS will continue to make efforts to meet fans with better music and stage.”
The first K-pop band to top America’s Billboard 200 album chart, the group have won millions of fans worldwide. After news of the show’s cancellation, some took to Twitter in support of the group.
BTS will begin the remainder of their Japan tour on Tuesday.
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