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The perpetually controversial Justin Bieber is apologizing for posting two pictures of a Japanese war shrine to Instagram. His photos of his visit to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine angered many Chinese and South Korean Beliebers, who view the shrine as a brutal reminder of Japan's World War II atrocities.
The monument, which has been a constant source of international controversy, enshrines more than 2 million Japanese who died in war, including 14 of Japan's convicted class A war criminals. It also includes a museum that defends Japan's wartime aggression. The Instagram photos elicited a comment from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang, who helpfully reminded the pop star of the lasting tensions between China and Japan.
"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.
Bieber deleted the pictures and apologized. "I was mislead [sic] to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer. To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry," he said in a post on Instagram. "I love you China and I love you Japan."