3 May – After a recent controversy involving a shirt bearing an imperial flag, Girl's Day member Hye-ri made her official apology to fans.
Korea.com reported that on 2 May, the singer made a statement through her agency Dream Tea Entertainment, saying, "I bow my head and sincerely apologise for not being more cautious, and also for causing anxiety and concern. I will be sure that this does not happen again in the future."
She continued saying, "I just saw that it said "My Shirt Will Help Japan", and I simply thought it meant that we should assist the victims of the earthquake in Japan.
The singer added that she did not recognise the pattern and agreed that it she will not make any excuses for her mistake.
A representative from their agency remarked, "All of us at the company, Hye-ri herself, and the other members would like to convey our deepest apology. We will be more cautious in the future."
As a recap, Hye-ri received the shirt as a thank you gift from her overseas fans after Girl's Day's free performance in Sendai, Japan, which was held in response to the Japanese earthquake – in which she wore at an event rehearsal held in Korea two weeks ago.
However, unbeknownst to the singer, the pattern on her shirt resembles the 'Rising Sun' Imperial Japanese war flag used during the colonisation of East Asia, instead of the official flag of Japan.
The shirt raises a controversy since 'Rising Sun' is considered extremely taboo in both China & Korea as it is the flag that symbolises the painful memories of the past.