Pop star Zhao Wei yesterday apologised for appearing in a mainland fashion magazine wearing a dress emblazoned with the Japanese wartime flag.
She expressed particular regret for offending people who cared about her and anyone who experienced the Japanese invasion.
'I deeply, deeply feel I ignored the study of history,' she wrote in the letter, dated December 12, to the mainland Internet site Sina.com. 'I want to tell everyone I love my country. I also feel that although I'm always busy in the arts, I still want to strengthen my own study of outside knowledge and raise the level of my personal behaviour.'
As a public figure, Zhao said she should pay more attention to how her words and actions influenced society. 'I hope everyone from today continues to care for, protect and support me,' she said. 'Finally, I again express my apologies.'
Last week, Zhao defended herself against critics who called her a traitor over her photo in the September issue of Fashion Magazine.
The critics, many of whom vented their anger in chat rooms, said the flag brought back memories of the Nanking Massacre before World War II. Some urged a boycott of Zhao's albums, films and television appearances. They also pressed for a public apology.
But in a statement to Sina.com through her manager last week, Zhao said she should not be blamed for poor judgment.
She also denied promoting militarism, saying she was proud her grandparents had fought against the Japanese.