No stranger to controversy and acts that disrespect others, Canadian pop star Justin Bieber did it again when he visited a war shrine in Japan. His visit elicited anger among his Chinese and South Korean fans, who deem the Yasukuni Shrine a reminder of Japan’s World War II atrocities.
Bieber is in Tokyo for a holiday visit with his mother. While in the country, the pop star apparently thought it was a great idea to visit the shrine, which honors wartime dead, including several class-A criminals. Not satisfied with just visiting the area, he documented his visit and posted a couple of photos of himself at the shrine on his Instagram account. While the pictures have now been removed, many were outraged with his photos, with mostly Chinese and South Koreans taking to social media to air their criticisms and attacks on Bieber, many along the lines of, “As a Chinese Beliber, I am so sad that you visit the Yasukuni Shrine.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang commented on the visit, saying, “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.” The government representative then encouraged the young celebrity to “learn more about the history of Japanese militarism, and the wrongful historical and militaristic views promoted by the shrine.” Apparently, Bieber has not been up-to-date with current Japan-China politics, otherwise he’d know that even Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declined to visit the shrine for a second time after his first earned the ire of Chinese and South Korean neighbors. Aside from Qin, fans of Bieber were vocal in expressing their disappointment over his visit, while others called for an apology. Bieber has been in the spotlight recently for desecrating an Argentinian flag, and writing rude comments on the Anne Frank museum guestbook while on a visit a year ago.