Japanese fans were shocked to learn Thursday (November 8) that BTS' Friday performance on popular Japanese TV program Music Station was pulled.
TV Asahi, who airs the long-running series, released a statement explaining the decision was made after they became aware of a shirt BTS member Jimin wore last year. Deemed offensive by many Japanese, the shirt includes the infamous photo of a mushroom cloud over Japanese city Nagasaki, after the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb during World War II. According to allkpop.com, the shirt in question celebrates Korea's liberation from Japan after World War II.
While TV Asahi used the word "postponed" in reference to the group's canceled performance, there is no word on if or when the performance will be rescheduled.
BTS have released albums and songs in Japanese since 2014, the same year they released their debut Korean album Dark & Wild, but their popularity really took off in Japan in 2016 and is currently at an all-time high.
Many experts and fans have theorized about the hot-and-cold relationship Japan has with Korean pop culture in recent years. Many have wondered if it's because Japan's powers-that-be might not be exactly thrilled to see Korean stars coming into Japan and outshining their own idols.