BTS performance cancelled over atom bomb t-shirt

BTS Jimin

BTS Jimin

A Japanese television network abruptly cancelled the appearance of the mega-hit K-pop band BTS over a controversial T-shirt worn by one of its members, which was seen by some to celebrate the use of atomic weapons against Japan during WWII.

The seven-member boy band, who have built a huge global following since they formed in 2013, were due to appear on TV Asahi's flagship Music Station show on Friday evening.

"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 chose to "cancel their appearance".

BTS's planned appearance on the Japanese music show "Music Station" has been postponed. The designs include a photo of Koreans celebrating liberation and a photo of an atomic bomb detonating in Japan, which contributed to Japan's surrender to the Allied forces and thereby Korea's liberation.

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"We deeply apologize the viewers who were looking forward their performance", the station said.

The back of the shirt features several lines repeating the words "Patriotism ourhistory (sic) Liberation Korea", a reference to the end of Japan's 35-year colonial rule of the Korean peninsula. "BTS will continue their efforts to connect with fans on stage and also through music", the group said. 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. In May this year, the group reached the top of the Billboard 200 album chart with its new release "Love Yourself: Tear".

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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