Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Japanese TV show axes BTS performance over atomic bomb T-shirt

Japanese TV show axes BTS performance over atomic bomb T-shirt

A popular South Korean boy band was set to appear on one of Japan's biggest TV stations this week, but that appearance has been canceled due to a clothing choice one of its members may have made.

Following the news about the canceled Japanese appearance, Korean netizens have been sending their support to BTS with comments like, "What's wrong with a Korean wearing a shirt that celebrates Korea's Liberation Day?"

A t-shirt depicting the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima has caused an explosion of controversy in Japan and prompted a TV station to cancel a performance by k-pop giants BTS.

The shirt, which is still available for sale online, bears the slogan "Patriotism Our History Liberation Korea" and features an iconic photo of the atomic bomb dropped on a Japanese city.

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

The broadcaster was scheduled to feature the internationally popular seven-man group on its live show "Music Station" on the evening of November 9.


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. While some said they understood how it could be seen as controversial, others defended the shirt as being more about Korea's liberation than the bombing of Japan.

After BTS cancelled their flights to Japan, the designer behind the t-shirt issued an apology.

"I did not include that part to mock Japan".

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".

However, there has been some criticism of the shirt by a number of Japanese ARMYs, with one person writing: 'Why am i just now hearing about Jimin wearing a shirt with the atomic bomb on it??? as a fellow ARMY, this is unforgivable. After I found out, I was very flustered and apologetic.

Incidentally, the shirt has subsequently sold out.

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