Korean boy group ousted from Japan’s most popular music program over atomic bomb t-shirt

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Appearance on a TV show was always promoted up to one day before the scheduled performance.

DVRs and online streaming have exploded in popularity in Japan over the past few years, but TV Asahi Music Station remains the date television for many. Since 1986, the Friday night program has aired live performances and interviews with top musicians, and with K-pop having made inroads into Japanese popular culture, November 9 music station was to host Korean boy band BTS (also known as Bangtan Boys).

BTS would come to the show to chat with the show’s hosts and sing the Japanese version of their song “Fake Love”, as well as “Idol”, as promised by a promo music station aired at the end of its November 2 episode. However, just a day before BTS was supposed to be on the show, music station announced that they had been dropped from training, via a written statement on the program’s official website that reads:

“We have decided to cancel BTS’ appearance on November 9, which was previewed on November 2. There have been reports of discomfort caused by a T-shirt one of the group members was previously wearing. We as a program wanted to ask her about her mentality while wearing it. We were engaged in such discussions with BTS’s record company, but ultimately made the decision to cancel their appearance on the program. We apologize. deeply with the viewers who were eagerly awaiting it.

The T-shirt in question is the one worn by a member of BTS Jimin, which sparked a stir on the Japanese internet last month. In the widely circulated photos, Jimin can be seen wearing a long-sleeved white t-shirt with “Patriotism our history liberation Korea” printed multiple times on the back, as well as a photograph of the mushroom cloud that occurred directly after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in World War II. The photos are said to have been taken on Korea’s National Liberation Day in 2017, which marks the end of World War II and, by extension, the Japanese occupation of Korea.

▼ Jimin, wearing the controversial shirt

The vague wording of music station the statement that “as a program, wanted to ask his mentality by wearing it” doesn’t make it clear whether the producers just wanted a closed-door discussion before agreeing to have BTS on the show, or they asked to be allowed to question Jimin, live on the air, about his choice of wardrobe. Anyway, BTS was kicked off the guest list, and considering that music station took the unusual step (for the Japanese entertainment industry) to specifically quote the t-shirt, instead of using one of the platitudes such as “due to various circumstances” that are often used by Japanese media, BTS might be out of the program’s good graces for quite some time yet.

Source: music station Going through Huffington Post Japan
The featured image: Twitter/@murrhauser

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