Justin Bieber causes upset with Japan war shrine image
Justin Bieber has caused upset on social media after posting a picture of a Japanese war shrine on Instagram.
The Canadian singer is thought to have visited the Yasakuni shrine, which honours fallen warriors and also pays tribute to convicted war criminals.
"Thank you for your blessings," the 20-year-old star tweeted as he posted the picture, which he later took down.
In South Korea and China the site is seen as a symbol of Japan not being sorry for the empire's past.
The singer has now apologised: "While in Japan I asked my driver to pull over for which I saw a beautiful shrine. 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."
The post on Instagram has caused much upset on social media sites.
"Hey Justin, do u even know where that is?" wrote one Instagram user, vivien-kong, before saying that Japanese soldiers "killed American and other Asian countries innocents".
A museum at the shrine suggests Japan was a victim of the war, an idea many historians disagree with.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang, speaking at a regular briefing on Wednesday, said he had not been aware of the singer's visit to the shrine.
He added: "I hope that this Canadian singer after visiting the Yasukuni shrine can have a clear understanding of Japan's history of invasion and militarism and of the source of Japan's militarism."
The musician has 51 million followers on social media.
He previously upset visitors to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam after saying he hoped the Holocaust victim would have been a fan.
He wrote in the guestbook: "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber."
Bieber is currently facing an assault charge in Canada after being accused of hitting a limousine driver on the back of the head.
In January, the 20-year-old was arrested and charged for a separate incident in Florida for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
A police officer pulled him over on suspicion of racing a hired yellow Lamborghini on a public street.
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