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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Pianist Myra Melford’s new CD “Life Carries Me This Way” features solo piano interpretations of drawings by modern artist Don Reich. She performs songs from the album, talks about turning art into music, and joins host Eric Felten in some Chicago boogie-woogie on "Beyond Category."