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why were BTS banned from japanese tv?

The K-pop group’s performance was cancelled over a controversial t-shirt.

by Nicole DeMarco
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12 November 2018, 9:45am

Photo via YouTube

It has been a year of firsts for South Korean boy band BTS (방탄소년단). They were the first K-pop band to win a Billboard Music Award, the first k-pop group to sell out a US arena, the first K-pop group to be invited to speak at the UN, and they broke Taylor Swift’s record for biggest music video debut with their single Idol. Also, there was that time they stole hearts during the Fortnite Dance Challenge on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. Most recently, however, they were the first K-pop band to be banned from performing on a Japanese TV channel, after being dropped from TV Asahi's flagship music program, Music Station.

“We have seen news that a T-shirt worn by one of the members has set off a furore and after asking their record company about this, we made the decision to postpone their appearance on our Nov 9 show,” TV Asahi network said on its website. According to CNN, the shirt featured the phrase “PATRIOTISM OUR HISTORY LIBERATION KOREA" several times, alongside what looks like an image of a mushroom cloud over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. There’s still plenty of tension between the two countries as Japan coccupied the Korean Peninsula until its defeat in WWII in 1945.

Local news outlets reported that the alleged T-shirt was worn by Jimin in an episode of the group’s reality television show, BTS: Bon Voyage in 2017, but the photo just resurfaced. And the shirt has since sold out. The TV network apologised to fans for cancelling the band’s much looked forward to performance, but there was no mention of cancelling the Japan leg of their upcoming tour starting on November 13.

This article originally appeared on i-D US.