International pop star Justin Bieber has apologized to his fans, particularly those from China and South Korea, who were outraged when he visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, a memorial for Japan’s wartime dead. The shrine is usually seen as a symbol of Japan’s militaristic past and their former colonies take offense when Japanese officials pay a visit.
“I was mislead (sic) to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer. To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry,” a part of his apology post on the singer’s Instagram read. The two pictures published on his account yesterday, documenting his visit to the shrine, were also taken down. “I love you China and I love you Japan,” he concluded. According to his post, when he passed by and saw the “beautiful shrine,” he asked his driver to stop and he visited and paid his respects. An unnamed official from Yasukuni confirmed that the star just went into the shrine just like any other tourist and the other visitors didn’t even notice him, emphasizing that this was not a planned visit. The shrine is near Budokan Hall, where Bieber performed to a sold-out crowd back in 2011. This visit to Japan’s capital was of a personal nature and not connected to any publicity tour.
The Canadian celebrity is no stranger to making uninformed controversial gestures in other countries. He caused outrage last year in the Netherlands when he wrote in a guestbook while visiting the Anne Frank House that he thinks the young girl “would have been a Belieber.” The lesson now for his management should probably be to educate Bieber first about the political issues in the countries he visits to avoid causing further international incidents. Now let’s see if Chinese and Korean fans start “Beliebing” again.
[ via Yahoo ]