It seems like Justin Bieber just cannot catch a break.
The 20-year-old singer recently took a trip to Japan, posting images from his trip on Instagram. Bieber took one day of his trip to visit a war shrine in Tokyo, posing next to the shrine in two of his photos.
The shrine, called the Yasukuni shrine, pays respect to the 2.5 million people who had lost their lives in the war as well as fourteen Japanese war criminals.
The shrine is known to be controversial in China, South Korea, and some other Asian countries as it is seen as a symbol of Japan’s aggression and militarism, and those who visit it as those who are lacking in knowledge of war history.
The criticism generally stemmed from these areas after Bieber posted a picture with the shrine that was captioned, “Thank you for your blessings.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang spoke following the event, hoping Bieber had learned his lesson. “I hope this Canadian singer, after his visit, can have some knowledge of the Japanese militaristic history of external aggression and their militaristic thinking,” he said.
As soon as the pop-star received such negative criticism for the photos, they were quickly removed from his Instagram profile.
Bieber also apologized to the public, announcing that he believed the site was a beautiful place of prayer. “To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry,” Bieber said. “I love you China and I love you Japan.”