Justin Bieber has caused international outrage after posting a picture of Japan’s Yasakuni shrine on Instagram.
Justin Bieber, 20, is thought to have visited the Yasakuni shrine, which honors fallen warriors and also pays tribute to convicted war criminals.
“Thank you for your blessings,” Justin Bieber tweeted as he posted the picture, which he later took down.
In South Korea and China the site is seen as a symbol of Japan not being sorry for the empire’s past.
Justin Bieber has now apologized: “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 post on Instagram has caused much upset on social media sites.
A museum at the shrine suggests Japan was a victim of the war, an idea many historians disagree with.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang, speaking at a regular briefing on Wednesday, said he had not been aware of Justin Bieber’s visit to the shrine.
He added: “I hope that this Canadian singer after visiting the Yasukuni shrine can have a clear understanding of Japan’s history of invasion and militarism and of the source of Japan’s militarism.”
Justin Bieber has 51 million followers on social media.
He previously upset visitors to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam after saying he hoped the Holocaust victim would have been a fan.
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