Controversy over “rising sun flag lighting” on LE SSERAFIM’s stage in Japan…”On purpose vs. Coincidence”

On December 31st, LE SSERAFIM performed the Japanese version of their debut song “FEARLESS” for the first time at the year-end music show Kohaku of Japanese broadcasting station NHK. 

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On this day, LE SSERAFIM took to the stage in innocent white outfits and performed a choreography that combines neatness and sexiness.

The girl group drew cheers from Japanese fans by showing an unconventional performance and a synchronized dance while lying down on stage.

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However, when a lighting reminiscent of the “Rising Sun Flag” was turned on for about 18 seconds in the middle of the stage, some Korean netizens expressed their dissatisfaction. 

The “Rising Sun Flag” is a military flag used by Japan during World War II, and is classified as a war criminal flag as it symbolizes Japanese imperialism.

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As a result, netizens voiced heavy criticisms and left comments such as, “It’s already ridiculous to sing Japanese songs in Japan at the end of the year, but to even use Rising Sun Flag-shaped lights?”, “People are claiming it was just a momentary lighting but it kept coming out several times so it clearly wasn’t a one-time thing”, and “The reason why they called them to Japan is exactly for this”.

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On the other hand, some argued that this is a pure coincidence and “just lighting”. Many also pointed out that it was the Japanese stage production team that was responsible for the lighting, and LE SSERAFIM had no hand in the issue

Meanwhile, amid controversies regarding the Rising Sun Flag, LE SSERAFIM’s popularity remains solid. In particular, among videos of the 73rd Kohaku performances released on the YouTube channel of NHK, LE SSERAFIM’stage ranked 5th in views.

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In addition, the video achieved trending status in YouTube Japan for two consecutive days (January 1st and 2nd), right after its release.

Source: Pann, Insight 

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