Although the Japanese right-wing group attacks are taking place, the popularity of the BTS is still hot in Japan.
A Japanese television station has canceled an appearance by the massively popular K-pop group BTS citing controversy over a T-shirt with an image of an atomic bomb that a member wore last year to celebrate Korea’s liberation from Japan after World War II.
The 9th single of BTS, “Fake Love/Airplane Part.2,” is currently ranked first on the Oricon Chart’s Daily Chart after its release on Nov 7. Oricon, a Japanese music information service company, counted various rankings based on estimates of album sales, and is one of Japan’s most reliable sources.
The Daily Single chart is aggregated with sales estimates based on a daily basis. Considering the fact that Japanese reports on T-shirts started on the Tokyo Sports on Oct 26, the controversy did not affect the sales of albums. The “Love Yourself” Dome Tour, which will be held in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka, is still hot. All seats are already sold out, and about $100 tickets are being sold out for thousands of dollars. Big Hit Entertainment, also posted a notice asking people not to buy those re-selling tickets at their official Japanese fan club.
The reason why BTS is not cooling down because there is a consensus that the controversy is due to Japan’s right-wing politics. The t-shirt in question was already on the video a year ago, and the issue now is that the Korean Supreme Court intends to use the anti-BTS group to spread the anti-Korean sentiment after the recent ruling on forced labor.
However, experts point out that the remaining popularity of BTS shows changes in media platforms and differences among generations, compared with the coldness of popular cultural exchanges between the two countries when the Korea-Japan history issue erupted.