BTS performance in Japan canceled over atomic bomb shirt

South Korean pop group BTS performs during a Korean cultural event in Paris

BTS's planned appearance on the Japanese music show "Music Station" has been postponed.

The "atomic bomb" T-shirt also featured Korean independence slogans.

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 United States carried out nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The t-shirt appeared to reference the end of the Japanese occupation of Korea, which ended in 1945 after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Tokyo-based TV Asahi said it has chose 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. "However, we made a decision to postpone their appearance this time", said TV Asahi in a statement published online.

"A t-shirt design worn by one of the members caused controversy. we had been discussing it with the record label".

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BTS has said in a statement over the the row: "We apologise for disappointing fans who were looking forward to this". While some said they understood how it could be seen as controversial, others defended the shirt as being more about Korea's liberation than the bombing of Japan.

Hundreds of thousands of people were killed instantly and many more died in the years to come as a result of radiation sickness. Late last month, South Korea's Supreme Court ordered a Japanese company to compensate four Koreans for wartime labor during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean peninsula.

Jimin reportedly wore the shirt in August 2017 when Koreans celebrate the end of Japanese occupation.

Photos of Jimin in the shirt started to gain traction on social media in early November.

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

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. "Jimin don't blame yourself", said one Twitter user. "You guys made the wrong move this time". With the Japanese government maintaining that all matters of compensation were settled through a treaty in 1965, political tension is high between the two countries.

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