Justin Bieber Apologizes After Visiting Controversial Japanese Yasukuni Shrine
Justin Bieber is in for one bad day. The 20-year-old pop star took to his Instagram account in the early hours of Wednesday morning, April 23, to apologize to fans after he made a stop at a controversial shrine in Japan this week.
While in Tokyo, Bieber visited the city's Yasukuni Shrine -- a memorial that honors those who lost their lives during World War II, including war criminals and those who committed condemned acts. He posted a photo of himself in front of the shrine, writing "Thank you for your blessings."
After widespread outrage from fans in China, the "Boyfriend" singer deleted the image. He went on to post a screenshot of a headline of a Time magazine article detailing his visit and apologized for his actions. His Chinese fans took particular offense because of the conflict their country was engaged in with Japan during the war after Japan invaded China.
"While in Japan I asked my driver to pull over for which I saw a beautiful shrine," Bieber captioned the screenshot. "I was mislead to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer. To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry. I love you China and I love you Japan."
Bieber made a similar faux pas during a April 2013 visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Visiting the former hiding place of the young Holocaust victim, he wrote in the guestbook, "Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber."
The young star's apology comes after his recent mea culpa of sorts, following a stretch of headline-making actions including a highly publicized arrest, ongoing troubles with his on-again, off-again girlfriend Selena Gomez, and too much partying. "This is my time off but my mind is alway running. Learned a lot this past year through trial and error but that is life," Bieber tweeted on Monday, April 21. "Excited for what's next… Always push yourself to be better than the day before."