AceShowbiz - BTS' (Bangtan Boys) appearance on a Japanese TV show is canceled following a controversy regarding Jimin's atomic bomb T-shirt. On Thursday, November 8, the group's label Big Hit Entertainment released a statement apologizing to Japanese fans for their canceled appearance on TV Asahi's "Music Station".
"We apologize for conveying this unfortunate news to the fans who were looking forward to it," the agency stated. "We will work hard so that BTS can continue to meet their fans with better music and performances."
"Music Station" took to its website to explain why the group's scheduled appearance was pulled. "A t-shirt design worn by a [BTS] member caused a controversy," it stated. "We asked about the intention behind wearing that piece of clothing and discussed with the agency, but although unfortunate, after an overall consideration of the situation, we have decided that this appearance will be postponed. We deeply apologize to the viewers who were looking forward to their appearance."
In late October, a picture emerged showing Jimin wearing a T-shirt that seemed to celebrate the atomic attack on Hiroshima by the U.S. during World War II. The shirt, which has the text "patriotism ourhistory liberation Korea" repeated on the back, was meant to commemorate the liberation of Korea from Japan in 1945 after the atomic bombing. The photo was actually taken on August 15 last year, which is National Liberation Day in Korea, making it reasonable that Jimin wore the patriotic T-shirt.
Following to the controversy caused by the T-shirt, CEO of the clothing company has explained the meaning behind the image of the atomic bombing on the T-shirt. CEO Lee Kwang Jae of LJ Company said, "I did not include that part to mock Japan. I did it to express the historic truth and timing that after the atomic bomb was detonated, Japan's unconditional surrender led to independence."
He also expressed his regret that the T-shirt has caused the cancellation of BTS' appearance on the Japanese TV show. "After I found out, I was very flustered and apologetic. I had no intention to promote anti-Japanese sentiment, and so I'm very sorry towards BTS," he stated.
But the T-shirt was not the only one that has prevented BTS from meeting their fans in Japan. Due to the rising tension between South Korea and Japan regarding the wartime forced labor issues, Jung Kook and friends as well as TWICE have been removed from the lineup of "Kohaku Uta Gassen", a popular end-of-year music festival in the country.
A rep from NHK which hosts the music festival stated, "Maybe if the ruling was in early next year, but the ruling was so close (to the event). The controversy is at a boiling point. It'll be difficult to have Hallyu artists."
Despite the group's revoked invites to two Japanese shows, Big Hit Entertainment insisted that "there will not be any big changes to [the group's] promotions in Japan."