News / Arts & Entertainment

China Slams Justin Bieber Over Shrine Visit

FILE - Singer Justin Bieber performs with Chance The Rapper during Day 3 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.
FILE - Singer Justin Bieber performs with Chance The Rapper during Day 3 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.
VOA News
Canadian pop music star Justin Bieber has prompted fresh controversy and a condemnation by China, after visiting a Tokyo shrine honoring several World War II Japanese war criminals.

Bieber, who is on vacation in Japan, posted two pictures from the Yasukuni Shrine Wednesday on his Instagram account, where he has nearly 16 million followers. He also posted the images to his Twitter account, where he has 51 million followers.
 

The photos were deleted after dozens of Instagram users slammed him for being insensitive. They demanded the troubled 20 year-old apologize for insulting the Chinese people.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said he hopes the singer "can learn more about the history of Japanese militarism and the wrongful historical and militaristic views promoted by the shrine."

In a later Instagram post, Bieber said he was "extremely sorry" to anyone he offended. The pop star said he was "mislead to believe the shrines were only a place of prayer," adding "I love you China and I love you Japan."

Bieber's visit comes a day after a group of Japanese lawmakers visited the shrine. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also left a ritual offering there, but refrained from visiting, which he did in December.

Japanese officials say they make such visits in a personal, not official, capacity. They stress they are only trying to pay their respects to the country's 2.5 million war dead honored at the shrine.

Such visits are seen by China and South Korea as evidence Tokyo has not sufficiently dealt with its imperialist past. They believe the shrine and an accompanying museum glorify Japan's colonization of Korea and invasion of China.

It appears that Bieber did not know he would spark international headlines by visiting the Shinto shrine.

In one of the photos, Bieber was shown standing in front of the shrine with the caption, "Thank you for your blessings." In another, he stood with his hands clasped next to a man in traditional clothing.

Bieber has recently been in the headlines for reasons other than his music. In January, he was arrested in Miami on charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest, and driving with an expired license.

Last April, Bieber was also criticized after visiting the Amsterdam museum of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, where he wrote in the guestbook, "Hopefully she would have been a Belieber" - a nickname he uses for his legion of young female fans.

Musically, he is known for his hit songs that include "Baby," "Boyfriend" and "As Long as You Love Me."

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: peacelover from: china
April 24, 2014 1:58 AM
Bieber, you are a kid, i will not blame you. i wish you should learn some history in order not to make simile mistake.

by: Jay K from: e
April 23, 2014 10:24 PM
I'm Korean and I could care less that he visited the shrine. I would not have expected him to be aware of the controversy related to that shrine.

by: Stephanie from: New York
April 23, 2014 11:28 AM
I am Korean and am deeply offended that he would visit a place where war criminals who killed, raped and tortured millions of Asians including women and children.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

Country-pop singer, Lizzie Sider sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to perform songs from her new album, “Butterfly,” and to talk about her anti-bullying tour.

Blogs

African Music Treasures