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K-pop, Mandopop and other Asian pop

Mega-hit K-Pop band BTS booted off Japan television for ‘A-bomb’ T-shirt

  • Broadcaster said the group would not appear on its programme because the top depicted slogans supporting Korean liberation and a mushroom cloud
PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 November, 2018, 10:37am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 November, 2018, 10:38am

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 the second world war.

TV Asahi said the Billboard-topping band would not be appearing on its programme “Music Station” after reaching out to BTS’ record label about the T-shirt, which had caused controversy on social media ahead of the band’s tour of Japan beginning next week.

BTS apologised in a statement to its Japanese fans for not being able to make the appearance, without elaborating.

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The T-shirt, which depicted slogans in support of Korean liberation as well as a mushroom cloud on the back, stirred controversy in Japan where the band has a large fan base.

“A-bomb T-shirt” was one of the top trending topics on Twitter this morning. “Music Station” is one of Japan’s most prominent music programmes and one of TV Asahi’s main shows.

“I’m from Hiroshima. I cannot accept BTS appearing on Music Station,” said one Twitter user. “This group is making fun of the atomic bombings.”

The incident comes as ties between Japan and South Korea are once again strained over historical issues, with a court ruling holding Japanese firms liable for wartime forced labour claims roiling relations.