Japanese TV show abruptly cancels appearance by K-pop group BTS over singer's T-shirt

One of the group's members wore a shirt depicting the U.S. bombing of Japan.

November 9, 2018, 12:30 PM

SEOUL, South Korea -- A Japanese television show called off an upcoming appearance by BTS, a popular K-pop group, over one band member's T-shirt.

TV Asahi had invited BTS to perform on its live music show on Friday. But TV Ashai revoked the invite after it had received complaints about BTS member Jimin.

Viewers had complained over a T-shirt Jimin was spotted wearing in Los Angeles in March of 2017. The T-shirt showed an atomic bombing cloud with an image of Korean people celebrating liberation after World War II. The words “Korea” and “patriotism” were written on it.

According to TV Asahi, the network had discussed the issue with BTS’ management company. Later that day BTS’ management company informed its official fan page in Japan that BTS would not be on the show.

ABC News' request for comment to BTS' management team was not immediately returned.

South Korea’s local news outlets raised the possibility that the move was evident of anti-Korean sentiment in Japan. Yonhapnews TV reported that it was not the first time a Korean celebrity’s appearance was suddenly canceled in Japan.

BTS is gearing up for a dome concert tour in four different stadiums in Japan, starting with Tokyo next week. The South Korean boy band topped the U.S. Billboard 200 chart twice this year.