BTS Gig On Japanese TV Canceled Over Member's Atomic Bomb T-Shirt

BTS Jimin

TV Asahi cancels performance of K-pop group BTS over A-bomb shirt

The design, which went viral and drew flak in Japan, includes a photo of Koreans celebrating liberation and a photo of an atomic bomb exploding in Japan. We asked about the intention of wearing the outfit to the act's agency and tried to discuss it.

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.

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 actual date of when the pictures of Jimin were taken is unclear.

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.

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

The t-shirt appeared to reference the end of the Japanese occupation of Korea, which ended in 1945 after the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It wasn't long before the Japanese words for #Unforgiveable and #AtomicBomb started trending on Twitter - and some Japanese social media users were furious.

Defenders of BTS and Jimin claimed that the shirt wasn't disrespectful to the Japanese people, and was simply a celebration of the defeat of the Japanese empire and the resulting independence of Korea. "That's not an anti-Japanese shirt, it's a historical fact" and "I'm proud of BTS for canceling the show and its historical consciousness".

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". After I found out, I was very flustered and apologetic.

The shirt has since sold out.

Latest News