Japanese Pop Group Cancels Hong Kong Performances Over "Uncertain Situation"

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The cancellation from KAT-TUN comes after the city’s legislature was broken into by student protesters Monday.

Japanese pop group KAT-TUN have scrapped their Hong Kong performances citing concerns over the current “uncertain situation” in the city that has been racked by protests in the last month.

GEM TV Asia and Nippon TV, organizers of “The Music Day – Beautiful Harmony x KAT-TUN Live in Hong Kong” event, announced the cancellation of the boy band’s trip, set for July 5 and 6, which originally entailed meeting with 120 Hong Kong fans and a live performance. The group remains in the lineup of the show in Japan, which features nearly 30 musical acts and will be broadcast in the afternoon of July 6.

The cancellation came after the break-in of Hong Kong’s legislature by student protesters Monday, in an escalation of tactics by groups opposing the leadership of Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam. The city has been in a state of turmoil since early June, with three mass marches as well as violent clashes with police. Four people had died in protest as of July 3.

The population is divided into condemning voices of the student protesters’ vandalism and damage to property, and accusations of the government’s systematic violence toward its people. The protests began over a controversial extradition bill. Demonstrators have been calling for the full withdrawal of the bill, which would allow suspects to be transferred and tried in China, and the resignation of Lam over her push for the bill and her responsibility over the police’s actions. Neither the government nor Lam has addressed the requests of the anti-bill movement.

In recent days, Hong Kong pop musicians have rallied together, sometimes with the help of their counterparts in Taiwan, to produce songs in support of the movement. Hong Kong bands Rubberband and C Allstars have both written and released pro-movement songs. In the U.S., Vietnamese American musician Truc Ho released the song Sea of Black to declare solidarity with Hong Kong.

The political turmoil in the former British colony has prompted a war of words between politicians and diplomats in the U.K. and China, with British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt warning Beijing of “serious consequences” and refusing to rule out sanctions should China fail to honor the “one country two systems” principle agreed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, while China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang described Hunt as “fantasizing in the faded glory of British colonialism” and lodged an official protest with the U.K. over Hunt’s remarks.