It seems like the worldwide music sensations BTS won't appear on any Japanese year-end music prorgammes as their invitations to perform have been withdrawn, Allkpop reports citing unnamed Japanese media outlets.
According to the report, following Asahi TV network's lead other Japanese stations such as NHK and Fuji TV cancelled appearances by the popular South Korean boy band on music shows after a photo of one of BTS's members — Jimin — was spotted wearing a t-shirt that appeared to celebrate the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Thus, NHK's 'Kōhaku Uta Gassen', one of Japan's most popular year-end music programmes, and Fuji TV's 'FNS Music Festival' decided not to invite BTS.
"All of the above decisions were allegedly reached due to the controversy surrounding Jimin's liberation shirt," Allkpop wrote.
The group's fans, however, have risen to the defence of their idols, saying the t-shirt's main theme is liberty:
The main topic of the shirt is the liberty ✌from tragic!!✌Our liberty is from atomic bomb (jp surrendered the ww2 after the atomic bomb) and it is tragic to jp and kr. It means We have to remember that the liberty is from tragic(atomic bombs)— pyapyapya (@pypyaa) November 10, 2018
#LiberationTshirtNotBombTshirt#RealReasonWhyJPNTVcancelled— 더블트리 (@Ryu062311) November 10, 2018
Hey guys, please read this.
Jimin didn't insult atomic bomb victims.
Also, many Koreans were harmed by atomic bombs!https://t.co/S0VPcieTfR pic.twitter.com/ztWceqFjhJ
Jimin is being used as scapegoat 4 cancellation. My JP friend said there was nothing written about SK/JP relations from JP network. To JP, it is atomic bomb. To SK, it means liberation. He wore the shirt 2 years ago w no issue then it came up all of sudden on over Internet- https://t.co/JsJSaEgDAC— John Wick (@neoliveson) November 8, 2018
in an interview with with DongA on 9 November, when answering a question about the scandal said his intention was not to offend anyone.
"That part was not included to mock Japan. It was simply added to show the truth and the process of how the liberation of Korea came about when Japan surrendered after the atomic bombs," Lee said as cited by Allkpop.
"Street fashion was a trend when I started the brand. I have a great interest in history and designed the shirt thinking that young people can also become interested in history if I include history in fashion," he added.