BTS performance in Japan canceled amid anger over atomic bomb shirt

BTS Jimin

A picture of Jimin wearing a T-shirt depicting the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan, which killed hundreds of thousands of people, starting being shared online.

A BTS Japan fan site also announced their appearance had been postponed, along with an apology to fans who had been looking forward to the broadcast.

The designs include a photo of Koreans celebrating liberation and a photo of an atomic bomb detonating in Japan, which contributed to Japan's surrender to the Allied forces and thereby Korea's liberation.

The Tokyo-based TV Asahi said it has made a decision to call off their performance Friday night on its Music Station program after asking the band's agency about the member's intention in wearing the shirt. The station said in a statement it chose not to feature BTS after speaking with the record company about why BTS band member Jimin had chosen to wear the shirt.

It is unclear when exactly Jimin wore the shirt in question, but pictures of him in it started circulating online in October.

Hundreds of thousands of people were killed instantly and many more died in the years to come as a result of radiation sickness. 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. It was not clear when the photo of Jimin allegedly wearing the shirt was taken, but local news outlets reported the image was from 2013.

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"A-bomb t-shirt" was one of the top trending topics on Twitter Friday morning.

"Don't be sad, this is not your fault, the [tense relations] between both countries is beyond your control".

Agreeing comments included, "I suddenly don't want to see IZ*ONE's faces", "Can't stand Mnet and CJ right now, just look at what they're doing", "That's messed up", "Mnet has got to feel at least some guilt right now", "Sorry IZ*ONE, I didn't really dislike you guys or anything before but now this is making me angry", "Can they just please ban IZ*ONE from KBS", etc.

The cancellation comes as ties between Japan and Korea have becoming increasingly strained in recent years.

However, Tokyo maintains the issue of compensation has been settled under an agreement attached to a treaty that was signed in 1965, calling the ruling "unbelievable".

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