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Japanese Fans Fill BTS Gig at Tokyo Dome Despite Controversy

2018/11/14 Source

Fans queue in front of the Tokyo Dome in Japan, ahead of BTS' concert on Tuesday. /Yonhap

Japanese fans filled the Tokyo Dome on Tuesday for a concert by Korean boyband BTS, despite a massive outcry over an offensive t-shirt one member had been wearing.

The concert took place after TV Asahi canceled an appearance by BTS on its show "Music Station" over the t-shirt, which superimposed a picture celebrating Korea's independence from Japan over a mushroom cloud.  

Tickets still sold out, with some online touts flogging them for more than W1 million (US$1=W1,134). The concert began at 6 p.m., but hundreds of fans lined up at the stadium from 8:30 a.m., swelling to thousands by noon.

Asked about the t-shirt controversy, one fan said, "Japanese fans don't really care that much. I just think it would be nice for Jimin to give his frank opinion about it during the concert today".

Many of the 50,000 fans sang along in Korean, but Jimin stopped short of explaining what prompted him to celebrate the dropping of nuclear bombs. "I caused a lot of anxiety to my fans", he said at the end. "I hope to have more opportunities in the future to meet with my Japanese fans".

Tickets for the remaining BTS concerts in Japan are also sold out.

Fans of BTS pack the Tokyo Dome at a concert in Japan on Tuesday in this photo tweeted by the band.

Only two lone protesters showed up, telling the crowd via loudhailer to go to Korea and BTS to stop profiting from Japan.

Meanwhile, the band's management agency apologized on Facebook, saying it should be held responsible for not taking care of all the details and causing the controversy.

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