Ja­panese TV drops Korean band over Hiroshima bomb T-shirt

The Guardian - - WORLD - Justin McCurry and agen­cies

A TV net­work in Ja­pan has can­celled an ap­pear­ance by the pop­u­lar Korean K-pop band BTS af­ter a pho­to­graph emerged of one of its mem­bers wear­ing a T-shirt that ap­peared to cel­e­brate the atomic bomb­ing of Hiroshima.

The boy­band were due to ap­pear on TV Asahi’s flag­ship Mu­sic Sta­tion show yes­ter­day evening. But the broad­caster with­drew its in­vi­ta­tion af­ter the photo went vi­ral.

The back of the shirt fea­tures sev­eral lines re­peat­ing the words “Pa­tri­o­tism ourhis­tory (sic) Lib­er­a­tion Korea”, a ref­er­ence to the end of Ja­pan’s 35-year colo­nial rule of the Korean penin­sula.

It also car­ries im­ages of a mush­room cloud cre­ated by an ex­plod­ing atomic bomb, and of Kore­ans cel­e­brat­ing their lib­er­a­tion from Ja­panese rule in Au­gust 1945, the month the US car­ried out nu­clear at­tacks on Hiroshima and Na­gasaki.

Band mem­ber Jimin, 23, was re­port­edly pho­tographed wear­ing the shirt last year on 15 Au­gust, when Kore­ans mark the an­niver­sary of the end of the Ja­panese oc­cu­pa­tion.

“We have seen news that a T-shirt worn by one of the mem­bers has set off a furore. Af­ter ask­ing their record com­pany about this, we made the de­ci­sion to post­pone their ap­pear­ance on our 9 Novem­ber show,” TV Asahi said.

BTS apol­o­gised for the can­cel­la­tion but made no ref­er­ence to the T-shirt. “We apol­o­gise for dis­ap­point­ing fans who were look­ing for­ward to this. BTS will con­tinue their ef­forts to con­nect with fans on stage and also through mu­sic,” the group said.

▲ The K-pop group BTS had been booked on TV Asahi yes­ter­day

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