• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 11:07am
NewsAsia
JAPAN

‘I am extremely sorry’: Justin Bieber apologises after visit to Japan’s Yasukuni war shrine

Canadian pop star visits controversial site just days after Japan lawmakers' visit and PM Shinzo Abe's offering caused uproar

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 April, 2014, 3:43pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 April, 2014, 2:16pm

Teenage heartthrob Justin Bieber tonight apologised for posting photos of himself visiting Japan’s controversial Yasukuni Shrine earlier in the day. 

The photos courted a fresh round of controversy for the singer, infuriating many Chinese and South Koreans.

"While in Japan I asked my driver to pull over for which I saw a beautiful shrine. I was misled to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer," The singer wrote on his instagram post.

"To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry. I love you China and I love you Japan."

Loved and loathed in equal measure, the Canadian star was in Japan on holiday with his mother, despite being due in a Miami court this week on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol.

His poorly timed holiday snaps came just days after some 150 Japanese lawmakers sparked outrage by visiting the Tokyo shrine, which critics slam for including the names of 14 Class-A war criminals among its war-dead. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had stayed away from visiting the shrine this year and instead sending an offering.

Bieber’s pictures immediately caused a storm of outrage as they were shared on social media sites, with many Chinese and South Koreans launching attacks.

Two photos were later deleted from Bieber’s Instagram account.

One photo, of him standing in front of the shrine with an unidentified man, was captioned, “Thank you for your blessings”. Another, where Bieber also posted, “Good morning” with a photo of him posing with a man in traditional Japanese clothing.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang, when asked if he hurt the feelings of Chinese people, responded that Bieber should learn more about the history of Japanese militarism.

“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,” Qin said.

“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,” Qin added.

“The Yasukuni shrine is dedicated to [those who] killed countless Chinese   ... Japanese planned Nanjing massacre killed tens of thousands of people [in] China. Please face up to history. As a Chinese ... I am so sad that you visited the Yasukuni Shrine,” one Bieber fan wrote in the comments.

“Say sorry to [the] Chinese,” another wrote.

The visit was not Bieber’s first cultural faux pas.

After visiting the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam last April, the singer wrote in the guestbook that the Holocaust victim would have been a fan. “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber."

Last October, the now 20-year-old celebrity incensed Chinese fans when a video of him touring the Great Wall of China while being carried by his body guards was leaked online.

On January 23, he was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, driving with an expired licence and resisting arrest without violence. Toxicology reports showed traces of marijuana and the anti-anxiety medication Xanax in his system.

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
49

This article is now closed to comments

charlie212
yes obviously didn't know because he is self entitled and doesn't have to read up on history nor educate himself in other subjects. justin beaver should grow up and research things before he indulges. but don't worry - he loves japan and he loves china ! i see a future politician in the making !
ngsw
An idiot with an empty brain.
r6b
The kid's mis-steps are not specific to China/Japan
He made similar brainless statements after visiting the Anne Frank museum too.
This kid is in desperate need of a better quality managing team
chaz_hen
Thank God! Finally something that may get the people of China and the USA together on the same page: the banishing of this useless dou-che_bag back to his native Canada, never to pollute overseas shores again!!
simonsafe
The boy is clearly a fool !
wiseman
Stop this sort of **** please. Not to mention that two are of different nature, what does Cultural Revolution have anything to concern you? Go home and mind your own business, whoever you are.
jiawang@adb.org
Maybe the silly girls in China and South Korea will think twice about how "hot" he is.
allan94
why is this even news???
this is a teenage uneducated ignoramus visiting a temple. who cares?
scmp....what the **** is wrong with your reporters.....are they so lazy??
there is no news out there that is more important than bieber??
superdx
Have no Chinese people ever visited Yasukuni? From 1980-2006, if you posted a picture of yourself in Yasukuni on whatever social network was available at the time, you would have received no comments. No one even knew what it was, or what it represented. I'm sure many people from HK have visited in the past.
If you didn't know or understand Japanese, you would have no idea it was even Yasukuni. There are many temples in Japan that are built along very similar architectural lines.
I guess the social reaction these days is to instantly vilify any current visits to the shrine. Why not vilify anyone who has visited in the past? It enshrined the Class A war criminals then. I would guess millions of tourists from China and Hong Kong have gone there, since it used to be a marked tourist spot. They even had Putonghua in their signage.
How quickly we forget, and how quickly we learn to hate.
skywalker
"Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang, when asked if he hurt the feelings of Chinese people, responded that Bieber should learn more about the history of Japanese militarism."
Yes, and also about Chinese cultural revolution, the Chinese "great leap forward" and so on.
It is always astonishing how Chinese leaders take every chance to bark when someone "hurt the feelings of Chinese prople". This is really annoying now.

Pages

Login

SCMP.com Account

or