BTS performance in Japan canceled amid anger over atomic bomb shirt
Both South Korea and Japan are particularly sensitive when it comes to the legacy of World War II. The Korean Peninsula was colonized by Japan from 1910 to 1945, and was only liberated after the allies defeated Japan at the end of WWII. Millions of Koreans suffered under Japanese occupation and their treatment continues to impact relations between Tokyo and Seoul. Japan, meanwhile, became the only nation to have experienced a nuclear attack when the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagaski killing an estimated 200,000-plus people at the end of WWII. Though BTS has for years been one of the biggest bands in South Korea and East Asia, their international profile has skyrocketed in 2018. This year, the BTS became the first K-pop band to win a Billboard Music Award; the first K-pop act to sell out a US arena; and broke the record for biggest music video debut, a distinction previously held by Taylor Swift.