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“Why Can’t BTS Be Exempted From Military Service?” Japanese’s Reactions To BTS’ Suspension Of Group Activities

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As global boy group BTS announced hiatus from group activities, reactions and analyses from Japanese netizens and foreign media outlets have been published one after another.

Japanese media, including the Mainichi, reported that BTS revealed the need for a break and announced a temporary suspension of group activities. 

Hiroshi Shiratori, a professor from Hosei University in Japan, “This news not only has a great influence on entertainment but also carries political significance”, pointing out BTS as a group that has a huge impact on younger generations worldwide.

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He added, “BTS has also been exerting a lot of influence on global politics and policies as they delivered a speech on the SDG at the UNs last year and even met with President Joe Biden this year to express opposition to hate crimes.”

Complimenting BTS as the representative of young generations and Asians, who are often subject to hate crimes, Hiroshi Shiratori expressed his worries, saying “If they stop their activities, their voices and influence on such policies may lose.”

He added, “Of course, BTS has been too busy for the last nine years so they definitely need to recharge themselves individually”, adding, “As representatives of young generations and Asians, I hope each member would continue to show their influence on the environment and human rights issues.”

bts 64th grammy

Culture critic – reporter Soichiro Matsutani analyzed, “K-content, including music, dramas, and movies, is currently leading the global entertainment industry”. He continued, “Movies and dramas take a long time to shoot and everyone has to work from the morning to the evening. In K-pop, if the artists make a comeback with a new song, they have no choice but to appear in about seven music programs a week and for the whole month.” He added, “The Korean idol system does not give them time to grow and become more mature as a person.”

Writer-translator Yuka Kuwabata argued that the declaration of suspension of group activities would play no small part as the members’ ages are getting closer to the time of enlistment, adding, “Korean artists or actors rarely mention military service on their own.”

Writer Kuwabata said that the origin of the name BTS means “protecting their music from social prejudice and oppression”, as well as cheered them, “For BTS, solo activities will be a choice to protect their music.”

Meanwhile, on June 14th (local time), BBC reported BTS’ move with an article titled “BTS announce break to grow and pursue solo projects”.

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They said, “South Korean boy band BTS, whose catchy, upbeat songs have won them legions of fans, have announced they will be taking a break.”

They continued, “The group told fans during a televised dinner celebrating their anniversary that they would be pursuing solo projects. Band member Jimin explained, ‘We’re trying to find our identity and that’s an exhausting and long process.’ During the conversation, RM said that while they had achieved a great deal as BTS, the individual members needed to grow and mature as individuals.”

Source: Dispatch

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