BTS has come back to Japanese TV after a year by appearing on the FNS Music Festival, an annual music show of Fuji Television, on Wednesday. The TV networks promoted the Korean boy band’s appearance in a teaser, saying, “BTS, the super group that is sweeping the world, will appear for the first time on the FNS Music Festival!” BTS performed two songs including last year’s hit song “Fake Love.”
BTS has returned to the annual festival in 13 months. Last November, their performance was cancelled after Japanese far-right extremists criticized a member of the group for wearing a T-shirt that celebrated the National Liberation Day of Korea in the past. The T-shirt had an illustration of a mushroom cloud. This controversy led to a series of cancellations including the appearance on NHK’s annual New Year's Eve television special while Japanese far-right extremists called for “BTS out.”
However, the Korean boy band was invited this year by Fuji Television, a private broadcasting company and an affiliate of extremist “Sankei Shimbun” that was at the forefront of criticizing BTS last year.
K-pop concerts were held at two of the major Japanese domes. “BLACKPINK” had a concert Wednesday at the Tokyo Dome with a capacity of 50,000 while CJ E&M’s “MAMA” was held at Nagoya Dome, which has 40,000 seats. They both were sold out.
“The political relations between South Korea and Japan have been deteriorating, but K-pop is still very much loved by young Japanese people”, said Hwang Seong-un, head of the Tokyo Korean Culture Center. “Cultural exchange is holding the two countries together in the midst of the worsening bilateral relations.”