Sony Apologizes for Japanese Girl Band's Nazi-Like Outfits

"We express our heartfelt apology for causing offense."

Japanese girl band Keyakizaka46 came under fire this last week for an Oct. 22 appearance, which featured the J-pop performers wearing dark gray capes and knee-length dresses in the fashion of military overcoats, as well as officer caps sporting an eagle emblem.

The similarities in the group's fashion to Nazi-style dress was spread around social media, prompting a disgusted response from the U.S.-based Simon Wiesenthal Center: "Watching young teens on the stage and in the audience dancing in Nazi-style uniforms causes great distress to the victims of the Nazi genocide."

On Tuesday (Nov. 1), label Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) issued an apology for their group's appearance. “We express our heartfelt apology for causing offense ... because of our lack of understanding,” Sony says in a translated Japanese-language statement posted on its website. “We take the incident seriously and will make efforts to prevent a recurrence of a similar incident in the future.”

Label spokesperson Yasuyuki Oshio also assured fans there was no Nazi-related intent behind the group's appearance.