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BTS joins lineup of 2019 MAMA in Nagoya

October 31, 2019

K-pop supergroup BTS has joined the lineup of the 2019 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) scheduled for December in Japan’s Nagoya, the music channel said Thursday.

Mnet Japan disclosed the news through its Twitter account as it released information on ticket sales.

The 2019 MAMA is scheduled to be a one-day event on Dec. 4 at the 30,000-seat Nagoya Dome.

BTS has taken home the top MAMA prize for three years in a row through last year.

Besides BTS, the 2019 MAMA lineup also includes GOT7, Monsta X, SEVENTEEN, Chungha and IZ*ONE.

MAMA first began as the Mnet Video Music Awards by the entertainment giant’s cable music channel, Mnet, in 1999 as a local music award ceremony.

Powered by the soaring influence of K-pop in Asia, CJ renamed it MAMA in 2009 and has, since the following year, staged the K-pop performance and award festival outside of South Korea, including in Macau in 2010, followed by Singapore and Hong Kong.

MAMA is the biggest K-pop festival in the Asian region and has played a major role in promoting K-pop outside of the home country.

This year’s selection of Nagoya, however, is raising the eyebrows of many South Korean fans as the country is currently locked in one of the worst diplomatic rows with Japan over their shared history.

Japan has slapped a series of trade sanctions against South Korea, including the official removal of South Korea from its whitelist of trusted trade partners in August.

The sanctions were apparent trade retaliation against South Korean Supreme Court rulings last year that ordered Japanese firms to compensate Korean victims of forced labor during Japan’s 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula.

Against this backdrop, Nagoya became a symbol of the ongoing bilateral rows after Japan’s Aichi Triennale art festival in the city abruptly excluded a Korean sculpture symbolizing Korean women sexually enslaved by Japanese soldiers during World War II from exhibition.

As the artistic censorship led to angry reactions in South Korea and beyond, the triennale brought back the girl statue and put it back up for show during the art event’s final week from Oct. 8-14.

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