On October 26, a Japanese media outlet released an article accusing BTS of anti-Japanese activities due to a t-shirt with references to the atomic bomb and a Tweet that was allegedly criticizing Japan.
It referred back to RM’s Tweet from 5 years ago on August 15, 2013, which was National Liberation Day in Korea. He posted:
“Hello, this is RM. Today is National Liberation Day!! There is no future for a nation that has forgotten its history. It’s great to take a break, but I hope today becomes a day we can once again thank the independent fighters who have sacrificed their lives for their country! Cheers to Korea’s independence!”
The media outlet claimed that the post “used conventional language that Korea uses when criticizing Japan”. Moreover, they strongly criticized the t-shirt worn by Jimin, which had images from the Hiroshima bombing and the phrase “PATRIOTISM OURHISTORY LIBERATION KOREA” written on it.
The designer of the shirt, which is from a domestic brand called Ourhistory, had said, “National Liberation Day is the day we restored our country and the bright light after the long and dark Japanese colonial era. I’ve expressed our country’s liberation on the t-shirt.”
The Japanese media outlet continued that “the BTS members’ anti-Japanese activities were a result of the fact that Korea is a sympathetic country“.
They explained, “The reason Joseon was able to become independent from the Qing because numerous Japanese sacrificed their blood in the First Sino-Japanese war in place of the people of Joseon. Korea was able to become independent from Japan because Japan had lost the war. In the end, the Koreans have not once achieved independence by sacrificing their own blood. They have never experienced the pain and formalities that even the small nations of Southeast Asia have experienced.”