Bieber Bumbles Into China Insult

He posts photo of himself at controversial Japanese shrine, apologizes

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 23, 2014 5:37 PM CDT

(Newser) – Justin Bieber is getting a crash course in international relations this week after inadvertently alienating about a billion fans, reports MarketWatch. The number isn't that much of an exaggeration: While in Tokyo, Bieber committed what many in China to be a grave offense by visiting the controversial Yasukini shrine. The shrine honors Japan's war dead from World War II, but it also contains the remains of former military leaders who committed mass atrocities against China.

Bieber posted a photo of himself at the shrine to Instagram, where it drew 660,000 likes, but he pulled it when the complaints from Chinese fans started pouring in, reports Time. Then came a Bieber apology. “While in Japan I asked my driver to pull over for which I saw a beautiful shrine,” he wrote, explaining he thought it was merely a place to pray. "To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry. I love you China and I love you Japan.” The Hollywood Reporter rounds up some angry responses from Chinese followers, including one who writes, "Maybe you are a giant in Japan and thats the reason why you like Japan. Anyway, please dont come to China forever, we really dont like stupid people." (Last year, Bieber got flak for suggesting that Anne Frank would have been a Belieber.)

Justin Bieber performs during a concert at Bercy Arena in Paris in this file photo.
Justin Bieber performs during a concert at Bercy Arena in Paris in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
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