Japanese TV show cancels Korean boy band BTS over atom bomb t-shirt

Japanese TV show cancels live appearance by South Korean boy band BTS after one of the singers wore a T-shirt showing an atomic bombing

  • BTS member Jimin was snapped wearing a ‘patriotic’ T-shirt with a nuclear bomb
  • The singer has sparked fury as he is accused of celebrating US nuclear bombing
  • Korea was liberated by the Allies after being occupied by Japan in 1945
  • Inflammatory shirt was reportedly worn on anniversary of the end of occupation

A Korean boy band who spoke at the United Nations earlier this year have been barred from a Japanese TV show after one of their members wore a T-shirt featuring a nuclear bomb.

BTS star Jimin caused outrage after he was snapped wearing a T-shirt which celebrates Korean independence from Japan and includes a picture of a mushroom cloud from an atomic bomb.

The wildly popular superstars were due to perform on TV Asahi on Friday, but the station abruptly cancelled the show.

BTS member Jimin is said to have worn the picture during the band’s TV show, on August 15, when Koreans celebrate the end of Japanese occupation in 1945

The T-shirt has sold out on the ourhistory website since the controversy erupted 

Members of the Korean K-Pop group BTS (Jimin second from the left) attend a meeting at the UN event regarding youth during the 73rd session of the General Assembly in New York on Monday September 24

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

‘The T-shirt that one of the members wore made headlines and became controversial,’ the station added, saying it had discussed the ‘intention’ behind the shirt with the band’s record label and ultimately decided to ‘cancel their appearance’.

BTS issued their own statement on the row, but gave no details on why the show had been postponed.

‘We apologise for disappointing fans who were looking forward to this. BTS will continue their efforts to connect with fans on stage and also through music,’ the group said on their website. 

The offending shirt featured the phrase ‘PATRIOTISM OURHISTORY LIBERATION KOREA’ repeated multiple times alongside an image of an atomic bomb explosion and another of Koreans celebrating liberation. 

The offensive shirt has the words ‘PATRIOTISM OURHISTORY LIBERATION KOREA’ with a nuclear bomb emblazoned on it

The band appeared on BBC’s Graham Norton show in October after winning Radio 1’s teen awards for Best International Group and Social Media Stars

BTS member Jimin reportedly wore the shirt last year, on August 15, when Koreans celebrate the end of Japanese occupation in 1945.

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.

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

Last month, Tokyo reacted furiously after South Korea’s top court ordered a Japanese steel giant to compensate victims of wartime forced labor programs.

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 US album charts, a sign of the genre’s growing global appeal.

Known for their boyish good looks, floppy haircuts and meticulously choreographed dance moves, the septet has become one of South Korea’s best-known and most lucrative musical exports.

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