Japan TV station cancels K-Pop stars BTS over nuclear bomb shirt

The K-Pop group BTS has become one of South Korea’s best-known and most lucrative musical exports. (AFP)
Updated 09 November 2018
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Japan TV station cancels K-Pop stars BTS over nuclear bomb shirt

  • ‘The T-shirt that one of the members wore made headlines and became controversial’
  • BTS has become one of South Korea’s best-known and most lucrative musical exports

TOKYO: A Japanese television station has canceled a performance by the wildly popular Korean boyband BTS, after controversy erupted over a shirt worn by a member appearing to show the mushroom cloud created by an atomic bomb.
The international superstars were due to perform on TV Asahi on Friday, but the station abruptly canceled the show after a photo of member Jimin wearing the shirt went viral.
“BTS’s appearance scheduled for the 9th has been canceled,” TV Asahi said in a statement.
“The T-shirt that one of the members wore made headlines and became controversial,” the station added, saying it had discussed the “intention” behind the shirt with the band’s record label and ultimately decided to “cancel their appearance.”
BTS issued their own statement on the row, but gave no details on why the show had been postponed.
“We apologize for disappointing fans who were looking forward to this. BTS will continue their efforts to connect with fans on stage and also through music,” the group said on their website.
The offending shirt featured the phrase “PATRIOTISM OURHISTORY LIBERATION KOREA” repeated multiple times alongside an image of an atomic bomb explosion and another of Koreans celebrating liberation.
BTS member Jimin reportedly wore the shirt last year, on August 15, when Koreans celebrate the end of Japanese occupation in 1945.
Ties between Japan and South Korea continue to be soured by bitter disputes over history and territory stemming from Japan’s brutal 1910-45 colonial rule over the peninsula.
Last month, Tokyo reacted furiously after South Korea’s top court ordered a Japanese steel giant to compensate victims of wartime forced labor programs.
BTS are the leading lights of the K-Pop phenomenon and made history earlier this year by becoming the first K-Pop band to top the US album charts, a sign of the genre’s growing global appeal.
Known for their boyish good looks, floppy haircuts and meticulously choreographed dance moves, the septet has become one of South Korea’s best-known and most lucrative musical exports.


Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul Aziz University launches six-level Chinese proficiency test

Updated 18 June 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul Aziz University launches six-level Chinese proficiency test

  • Applications for registration for the test are being received via the KAU’s official website

JEDDAH: King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) on Sunday launched a Chinese language proficiency test under the supervision of KAU’s Chinese Science and Culture Exchange Center.

The Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) test is the first of its kind in the Kingdom. The six-level test assesses non-native Chinese speakers’ ability to use the language in their daily and academic lives.

It is one of various programs provided by the Chinese Science and Culture Exchange Center, including training courses and academic trips to China supervised by Chinese language specialists.

KAU’s vice president for educational affairs, Dr. Abdul Moneim bin Abdul Salam Al-Hayani, praised the center’s efforts, which come in response to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s directives to teach the Chinese language at Saudi schools and universities.

The aim is to promote cultural and academic exchange programs between KAU and distinguished Chinese universities, Al-Hayani said.

The KAU’s dean of student affairs, Dr. Masoud bin Mohammed Al-Qahtani, said providing the HSK test is in line with the directives of the Saudi leadership to teach the Chinese language at schools and universities.  

Applications for registration for the test are being received via the KAU’s official website, and several training programs will be launched, he added.