Justin Bieber Slammed for Photo at Japanese War Shrine

Pop star offends fans by posing for a pic at a controversial historic site.

Posted: 04/23/2014 11:01 AM EDT

Justin Bieber hasn't been able to make very many moves lately without getting reamed by the public. This time, the pop star offered up an apology Wednesday (April 23) after he mistook a Japanese war shrine for a place of "blessings" and prayer.

Bieber, 20, Instagrammed a photo from the controversial Yasukuni Shrine where war criminals are enshrined with the caption, "Thank you for your blessings." 

He fended off backlash by removing the images and posting the apology. "While in Japan I asked my driver to pull over for which I saw a beautiful shrine. I was mislead to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer. To anyone who I offended I am extremely sorry. I love you China and I love you Japan."

Located in Tokyo, Yasukuni was founded in 1869 by Emperor Meiji and is seen as a symbol of Japan's imperialist past. Among those memorialized at the site are 14 "Class A" war criminals convicted of heinous atrocities contributing to what has been characterized as an Asian Holocaust and a place of dissension for Chinese and South Koreans as well as Japanese. 

"I hope this Canadian singer, after his visit, can have some knowledge of the Japanese militaristic history of external aggression and their militaristic thinking," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. 

Visiting historical locations has been an issue before for the Biebs. This time last year, he caught flack for writing "hopefully she would have been a Belieber," in the guest book of the Anne Frank House, a museum dedicated to the teen who died at a Nazi concentration camp in 1945.    

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 (Photo: AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

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