BTS performs in Japan/Courtesy of BigHit Entertainment

Boy band keeps gaining popularity in Japan

The conflict between Seoul and Japan shows no signs of letting up after the latter announced strict restrictions on exports of key high-tech materials, which the former’s firms use to make memory chips, early this month.

Instantly vowing to strike back, Korea brought the case to the World Trade Organization and seems to prepare for retaliatory steps. Then, Japan threatens to come up with new measures.

The tit-for-tat fight, which came due to a growing dispute over the wartime forced labor issue, affects the two neighbors across the board. But there appears to be a sole exception of K-pop boy band BTS.

Oricon announced that BTS’s 10th Japanese album, “Lights/Boy With Luv,” ranked first on its weekly singles chart for the first week of this month.

The seven-piece boy group topped the chart by chalking up 621,000 Oricon points to become the first foreign artist to reach the 600,000 point plateau in the first week after release.

The number of pre-orders for the BTS album surpassed 1 million copies. The single also stayed atop the Oricon daily chart for six days in a row.

The Seoul-based idol group, which is currently on the Japan leg of their world tour, will perform in Shizuoka on July 13 and 14.

BTS, otherwise known as the Bangtan Boys, played two sold-out concerts at Yanmar Stadium Nagai in Osaka last weekend to draw more than 100,000 fans.

After dropping its fourth studio album “Map of the Soul: Persona” midway through this April, the band had a globe-trotting stadium tour that encompassed three U.S. cities, Sao Paulo, London, and Paris.

The title track of the mini album is “Boy With Love,” which topped Billboard albums charts and smashed records of world’s top video-sharing platform Youtube.

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The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.