Music group BTS will attend the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevadaimage rights
Getty Images

image Description

BTS has enjoyed great success both inside and outside South Korea

A Japanese TV show has canceled a performance by the very popular K-pop group BTS amid controversy over a shirt worn by one of the band members.

A picture of Jimin wearing a T-shirt depicting the US atomic bombings of Japan killing hundreds of thousands of people who were shared online.

It angered some Japanese BTS fans, calling it "insult".

BTS later apologized to his fans for not being able to perform.

The "Atomic Bomb" T-Shirt also featured Korean Independence slogans.

It was hailed by some in Japan as the bomb that eventually led to the independence of the Korean peninsula from Japanese colonial rule.

The combined war history of Japan and Korea remains a very sensitive issue in both countries.

The shirt and the atomic bomb

BTS, a seven-member Korean pop band, was originally scheduled to play at the TV Asahi Music Station on November 9.

"A T-shirt design worn by one of the members caused controversy … We had discussed it with the record label, but we decided to postpone their appearance this time," said TV Asahi in an online article Statement.

It is unclear exactly when Jimin wore the shirt in question, but pictures of him in it were distributed online in October.

  • Who is BTS?
  • K-pop star speaks before the UNO

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

image rights
Our story / screenshot

During the Second World War in 1945, two atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the first and only time in which atomic bombs were used in a war.

Hundreds of thousands of people were killed immediately and many more died in the coming years as a result of radiation sickness.

image rights
Getty Images

image Description

Atomic bomb mushroom clouds over Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right)

The bomb attacks led to the surrender of Japan and the end of the Second World War in Asia and the end of the Japanese colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, which began in 1910.

There are conflicting reports of exactly when the shirt was worn by Jimin. Some Korean media reports say it was worn last year while others said it was worn on the 15th of August this year to celebrate the Liberation Day in Korea.

"I will not let BTS appear"

Photos of Jimin in the jersey were received in early November in the social media.

It was not long before the Japanese words for #Unforgiveable and #AtomicBomb tended on Twitter – and some Japanese social media users were angry.

"I'm based in Hiroshima, I will not let BTS appear on the music channel, they made a joke about the atomic bomb," a Twitter user had said before the canceled appearance.

Other fans, however, gathered around BTS.

"Do not be sad, that's not your fault [tense relations] between both countries is beyond your control … Jimin does not blame himself, "said a Twitter user.

"What's wrong with Koreans remembering National Liberation Day?" another Korean user said on Twitter. "You made the wrong move this time."

The rejection comes about as relations between Japan and Korea have become increasingly tense in recent years.

Earlier this week, a South Korean court ordered a Japanese company to compensate them for war during the Japanese colonial rule of the Korean peninsula.

Tokyo claims, however, that the problem of compensation was governed by an agreement annexed to a 1965 contract, which described the judgment as "unbelievable".


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.