Update 7:40pm: The Embassy of Israel’s deputy chief of mission expressed “shock and dismay” over the outfit in a tweet at 5:30 pm. It noted that Sunday is the international day of remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust. Speaking on stage at Impact Muang Thong Thani, the performer who wore the Nazi shirt asked for people to forgive her and said she would “not let it happen again.”
BANGKOK — A member of one of Thailand’s biggest pop sensations wore a Nazi German war flag replete with swastikas at a Friday performance, according to images of the event.
BNK48 has yet to respond and their publicist could not immediately be reached for comment on images showing Pichayapa “Namsai” Natha, 19, of the so-called girl idol group wearing the Nazi-themed jersey in images posted Friday from a concert rehearsal.
“At Sexy BNK48 fanpage, we are all speechless. Japan’s doubtable ‘idol’ subculture, Nazi Germany’s outfits and Siamese girls, is this an Axis Power revived?” Facebook user Jedmangda Aochermathamphan wrote on Sexy BNK48 page, which called attention to the images after they appeared online without comment.
The Sexy BNK48 page posts critically about the band, usually about racism among its fans.
Jedmangda was referring to recurring incidents in which Thai youth embrace imagery or fashion borrowed from Germany’s Third Reich. In most cases, they have said afterward that they were unaware of the history.
The rehearsal at Impact Muang Thong Thai was for a Saturday concert.
The band’s image took a hit with some of its fans last year when its frontwoman, Cherprang Areekul, agreed to promote the ruling junta’s policies in a government television program.
In 2016, students at Silpakorn University cosplayed as Nazi Party leader and German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler while other students wore the uniforms of fanatical students who led Chinese campaigns of torture and murder in the 1960s.
Chulalongkorn University apologized in 2013 after its graduating seniors posed for photos doing the Nazi salute in front of a mural of “superheroes” which included Hitler. Some parents were aghast in Chiang Mai in 2011 when students at a school there dressed in elaborate SS costumes for an entire Nazi-themed school parade.
BNK48 is a domestic franchise of a Japanese group called AKB48. Japan has had its share of “Nazi chic” scandals as well.
In late 2016, Sony Music was forced to apologize after a popular act signed to the label called Keyakizaka46 performed in outfits resembling Nazi-era German military uniforms.
Additional reporting Jintamas Saksornchai