BTS's Japanese TV appearance cancelled after Jimin wears 'atomic bomb' shirt

South Korean pop group BTS performs during a Korean cultural event in Paris

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

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.

BTS, which made its debut in 2013, drew 400,000 spectators in total in 10 countries and regions including the United States, Canada, South American countries and Taiwan on its 2017 world concert tour. In May this year, the group reached the top of the Billboard 200 album chart with its new release "Love Yourself: Tear". "After overall consideration, however, we chose to cancel the act's appearance on the show".

But TV Asahi asked the group to cancel the performance after several discussions with its record company, which included asking what the intent was in wearing the T-shirt in question, an image of which was uploaded on the Internet.

The comments included, "The dropping of the atomic bombs led to the end of war, then liberation"; "It can not be swept aside simply by saying, "We wore it without knowing the meaning"; and, "I feel sad and pained that their chance to perform on the program is gone". Fans pointed out that Jimin's political shirt - the reason their appearance on "Music Station" was postponed - was worn nearly 2 years ago by the idol.


"BTS's appearance scheduled for the 9th has been cancelled", TV Asahi said in a statement.

Despite diplomatic tensions, K-Pop and Korean actors are extremely popular in neighboring Japan. 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.

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.

Japan became the first nation to suffer an atomic bombing on 9 August 1945, at Hiroshima.

Japan surrendered six days later.

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