Justin Bieber Apologizes, Pleads Ignorance After Dishonorable Selfie In Japan
By Courtney E. Smith
Justin Bieber finds himself in historical hot water again, this time after visiting a shrine in Japan. While the pop star was in Tokyo, he stopped by the Yaskuni Shrine in Chiyoda. He Instagramed and tweeted a photo of himself there, which has since been removed. The offense? The Yaskuni Shrine honors individuals who died in service to the Empire of Japan, all the way through World War II.
Bieber posted a new Instagram photo of TIME’s coverage of his controversial visit, with a caption that offers apologies to any who were offended as well as the countries of China and Japan.
“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 I have offended I am extremely sorry. I love you China and I love you Japan”
The Yaskuni Shrine was originally built to honor those who served under the Empire during the Melji Revolution of 1886, but in has been expanded over the years to include deities honoring over 2.4 million individuals who died in conflicts. Those enshrined include over 1,000 war criminals from WWII, 14 of which are considered by Japan to be the most severe offenders.
This follows Bieber’s equally egregious actions when visiting the Anne Frank House last year, where he wrote in the guest book that he hoped she would have been a Belieber.