Man, this was not a good week for Canadian pop musicians in Japan, was it? First we have Avril Lavigne taking a dump on Hello Kitty, and now we have Justin Bieber visiting a shrine in Tokyo. On the surface, that doesn’t sound too bad, until you realize there are apparently 14 war criminals whose souls are enshrined there. Whoops. Anyway, now Justin is trying to pass the blame onto someone else, as the norm with this one. Via The Hollywood Reporter …
The photo attracted some 666,000 likes on Instagram and tens of thousands of retweets before Bieber caught on to the controversial nature of place. The photo was soon deleted and replaced with a screen grab of Time magazine’s coverage of his visit, and the following apology: “While in Japan I asked my driver to pull over for which I saw a beautiful shrine,” wrote Bieber. “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.”
Japanese leaders have continued to visit the Yasukuni Shrine as a show of national defiance and solidarity with the war dead. Each visit draws strong protests from China and Korea, which bore the brunt of Japan’s wartime aggression. The issue remains highly sensitive among citizens of both countries.
And this is why we read the handy little travel brochure before we go around using landmarks for self-promotion. Seriously, are you telling me that not a single person in Justin’s travelling entourage of yes-men couldn’t have looked it up? The shrine has its own Yelp page for heaven’s sake! With four stars! Which, if we’re being honest, seems like a bit of an understatement for the resting place of 14 war criminals, but that’s just my opinion.