Unbeliebable: Justin Offends Asian Fans With Shrine Visit | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Unbeliebable: Justin Offends Asian Fans With Shrine Visit

Pop star Justin Bieber has been lurching from crisis to crisis in recent months, but his latest faux pas could be his biggest, risking the affections of possibly a billion Beliebers.

During a trip to Japan, the 20-year-old Canadian singer appears to have visited perhaps the most controversial site in all of Asia, the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo that honors, among others, World War II war criminals.

When the Bieb posted photos of himself standing in from of the shrine on Instagram, the responses came quickly from users of the social media site in China and South Korea. "Say sorry to Chinese," was among the printable replies.

According to That's Magazine, one user, whose screen name is "justinwanbieber," wrote: "The Yasukuni shrine is dedicated to kill countless Chinese prisoners. Japanese planned Nanjing massacre killed tens of thousands of people China Please face up to history . As a Chinese Belieber . i am so sad that you visit the YasKuniShrine ."

(Warning: there are other responses in That's Magazine that some readers of The Two-Way might find offensive.)

The Washington Post says Bieber "doesn't appear to know what the Yasukuni Shrine is — he says simply 'thank you for your blessings' with the first picture."

The snapshots were quickly removed and in a subsequent post, Bieber writes: "While in Japan I asked my driver to pull over for which I saw a beautiful shrine. I was mislead [sic] 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"

For China and other Japanese neighbors who suffered considerably at the hands of Japanese forces during World War II, few things are more offensive than Yasukuni.

And 70 years has done little to salve the war wounds: A visit by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the shrine in December prompted Beijing's Foreign Ministry to respond by calling the move "a gross violation of the feelings of Chinese people and people from other Asian countries."

The Independent notes of Bieber:

"His posts were particularly poorly timed, because they came just days after 150 Japanese politicians visited the shrines for its annual spring festival.

"Chinese officials have previously compared such visits to German politicians laying flowers on Hitler's bunker."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

These 'True Tales' Add Nuance To The Immigration Discussion

President Obama announced an executive action on immigration this week. For an in-depth look at the issue, author Gustavo Arellano recommends two nonfiction collections about Mexican immigrants.
NPR

Need A New Sweet Potato Recipe For Your Thanksgiving Table? Try Gnocchi

Because some cooks like to mix it up for Thanksgiving, we offer a Found Recipe from our archives: Julia Della Croce's purple sweet potato gnocchi.
NPR

House Panel Finds 'No Intelligence Failure' Before Benghazi Attack

The final report by the House Intelligence Committee concludes the CIA "ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi and ... bravely assisted the State Department" on Sept. 11, 2012.
NPR

Electric Bikes, On A Roll In Europe, Start To Climb In U.S.

Electric bicycles have been popular in Europe for some time. But recently there has been a surge in U.S. sales amid changing perceptions that e-bikes aren't just for the elderly.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.