A TV network in Japan has cancelled an appearance by the popular K-pop band BTS, after a photo emerged of one of its members wearing a T-shirt that appeared to celebrate the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
TV Asahi said the Billboard-topping band wouldn't be appearing on its show "Music Station" on Friday night (Nov 9) 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.
On November 8, Big Hit Entertainment announced via BTS's official Japanese website that the group's scheduled appearance on "Music Station" has been postponed.
"The T-shirt that one of the members wore made headlines and became controversial", the station added, saying it had discussed the "intention" behind the shirt with the band's record label and ultimately chose to "cancel their appearance".
BTS issued their own statement on the row, but gave no details on why the show had been postponed.
A controversy erupted recently over photos of BTS member Jimin wearing a T-shirt commemorating the day that Korea was liberated from Japanese colonial rule in 1945.
It also carries images of what appears to be a mushroom cloud created by an exploding atomic bomb, and of Koreans celebrating their liberation from Japanese rule in August 1945, the month the U.S. carried out nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "We apologize for conveying this unfortunate news to the fans who were looking forward to it", the agency stated. Meanwhile, last month, South Korea's court ruled that Japan must compensate Korean victims of forced wartime labor from World War Two for the unfair labor.
BTS are the leading lights of the K-Pop phenomenon and made history earlier this year by becoming the first K-Pop band to top the USA album charts, a sign of the genre's growing global appeal.