Justin Bieber apologises for visiting Yasukuni Shrine in Japan: Site at centre of international row honours convicted WWII war criminals

 

It was only a matter of time before Justin Bieber managed to ignite a minor diplomatic incident in Asia.

So many were only mildly surprised to learn that the singer had issued an apology, after coming under heavy fire from Chinese and South Korean fans for visiting a Tokyo shrine at the centre of an international row over Japanese wartime aggression.

Of course no-one would have known about his controversial trip, had he not posted photographic evidence of himself at the site in question up on his Instagram account, which currently has an audience of over 15million.

“Thank you for your blessings,” read the caption.

Unfortunately for Bieber, Yasukuni was not in fact "only a place of prayer", as he claims to have mistaken all shrines in existence for, by way of apologising for asking his driver to stop at it so he could have a look around.

The shrine actually honours 14 late Japanese leaders, who were convicted of war crimes after the Second World War, as well as scores of Japanese soldiers who died during the conflict.

"To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry," he wrote on his Instagram profile. "I love you China and I love you Japan."

His posts were particularly poorly timed, because they came just days after 150 Japanese politicians visited the shrines for its annual spring festival.

Chinese officials have previously compared such visits to German politicians laying flowers on Hitler’s bunker.

"I don’t know the political stance of this Canadian singer, but China’s view on Japanese leaders visiting the Yasukuni Shrine is clear and consistent," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang told the South China Morning Post.

"I hope this singer can learn more about the history of Japanese militarism, and the wrongful historical and militaristic views promoted by the shrine after the visit."

His Twitter feed was promptly flooded with tweets from angry Chinese and South Korean fans, some of which called for the pop star to banned from performing in their home countries, while others demanded he be "run out of Asia" permanently.

This isn’t the first time Bieber has stumbled over a fairly obvious cultural hurdle.

Last April, he sparked outrage on a visit to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, where he wrote in the guestbook that the famed diary writer would have been a fan of his work… Had she not been a victim of the Holocaust.

"Truly inspiring to be able to come here," he penned in tribute. "Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber."

He was also deemed disrespectful by Chinese fans in October last year, when a video of him being carried across the Great Wall of China by his body guards surfaced online.

Read More: White House Offers No Comment On Bieber Petition
Bieber Arrested & Bailed For Alleged Drag Racing & DUI
How Shia LaBeouf Managed To Plagiarise Justin Bieber
 
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor