• Wed, Apr 23 - 11:36 am ET

Justin Bieber Stopped In At A Memorial For Japanese War Criminals To Pay His Respects

Justin Bieber standing in front of Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo April 2014Guys, we don’t always give Justin Bieber enough credit, and we’re willing to admit that. Sometimes we get so caught up with talking about the offensive things he does on purpose that we forget to discuss the offensive things he does on accident! And that’s not fair. But we’re constantly working on ourselves, y’know? So let’s make this right and talk about the really dumb thing he accidentally did last night.

For whatever reason, this little shithead is currently roaming Asia, and he elected to continue his world tour of international offense by stopping off at a lovely shrine of some sort in Tokyo, Japan that he glimpsed from the road. It’s called the Yasukuni Shrine, and he posed for a photo in front of it, which he dutifully posted to Instagram with the caption ‘Thank you for your blessings.’

Except the funny thing about the Yasukuni Shrine? It’s a controversial memorial that was erected to honor the lives of all Japanese warriors who died in service of their country, including over 1,000 convicted war criminals. Fourteen Class A war criminals, in fact, who were responsible for unbelievable atrocities during World War II and the Nanking Massacre, just to name a few buzz words. I guess it’s less funny than extremely controversial and offensive, most specifically to the Chinese, who lost hundreds of thousands of their citizens to torture, medical experiments, and full-on massacres.

That’s just a tiny sampling of the information that was available to Justin on the topic, but instead of bothering to read up on the country he was visiting, he decided to just wander into a situation in a foreign land that he knew nothing about, and blunder around creating general outcry for a while before going home. He later deleted the photo, but still — mission accomplished! Because people are understandably very upset about this.

But don’t worry! Justin has made a very eloquent, in-depth apology to the people of China by…Instagramming a photo of a TIME headline calling him out and putting a half-assed explanation in the caption.

“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”

If they were gonna bury bad people there, they shouldn’t have made it so beautiful! It just looks like super holy, so it’s totally not my fault, bro — oh look! A blood diamond! I’ma get me some of that.

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  • M_G

    …….sigh…….it’s getting to the point where it’s not even fun to make snarky comments about him anymore. It’s just sad and exhausting.

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      I know. His life is exhausting to me and I’m not even in it.

  • Nbl

    What pisses me off the most is the reaction by his fans, calling it a simple mistake and talking about how nobody would know about it. It’s a shrine to soldiers with dates during World War II. Even if you aren’t aware of Nanking, you are aware the Japanese fought against the allies. There’s nothing simple about this. “The Rape of Nanking” was full out crimes against humanity. The Nazi’s thought the Japanese went too far. The FREAKIN NAZIS! The first picture I ever saw of Nanking will always be seared into my memory. It was the body of a toddler, shot in the back of the head and left to rot in a river. It still affects relations between China and Japan. To say it was something most people wouldn’t know about infuriates me. How can we forget these terrible events so easily?

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      I know I don’t.

    • FemelleChevalier

      I think it’s more of a cultural gap than anything else. I’ve talk to people who are not aware of what the Imperial Japan during WWII did and to what extent.

    • Nbl

      That’s true and it’s really sad. When you look at the US education of WWII it’s weird. The only thing they talk about in regards to the pacific is Pearl Harbor and the A-bombs. The rest is the European front. Which is odd because most of the fighting done by the US was in the pacific. I still think his fans acting like it wasn’t a big deal is just wrong. Maybe they will take the time to research and educate themselves but I doubt it.

    • FemelleChevalier

      I think it’s because US is still in the West; the education focuses more on the familiar European aspects rather than the obscurity of other unfamiliar cultures. It’s the same in Asia as well.

      In a way, what he did is “technically” not wrong. Shrines are essentially used for prayers and asking for guidance. It just so happen that it’s a controversial shrine. The reason for said controversy is still a touchy subject for most Asians (majority but not limited to Chinese) who grew up knowing how their grandparents, great-grandparents, and people suffered during WWII.

      The fans… well, they aren’t really a clever bunch. Most are children who don’t know better. Personally, I make it a point to tell all the gruesome details. For education.

  • guest

    it’s one thing to be uninformed but it’s a whole other thing to be ignorant. We live in 2014. it’s not that hard to google something or ask. All those beliebers who still support him need a dose of the real world. i used to be a huge fan and i hope he comes back to that time one day

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      I wonder if he’s past hope of pulling it together.

    • Jill

      I mean… do you google every. single. thing. you see when you’re a tourist? I don’t, and I don’t see how that makes you ignorant. Or past the point of pulling it together. You have to admit, by his standards, he’s been relatively quiet lately. It’s like people hope he doesn’t pull it together, I don’t get it? Cause there won’t be any good gossip to write about? I think he’s trying, and I think he will.

    • Jenni

      If you’re an international celebrity with a history of accidentally being disrespectful toward other cultures, I would recommend googling everything you see before posting about it.

    • FemelleChevalier

      Actually, you should. You’re not a good tourist if you don’t, especially if it’s outside your country. This is how you won’t offend other cultures. Learning the some phrases is good, too. Besides, it’s Japan: if you don’t want to be called a “baka gaijin”, you better be respectful.

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Crazy foreigner! Do you speak Japanese?

    • FemelleChevalier

      Just some really basic words and phrases that I learned when I was young. My Japanese blood is pretty diluted, so I never bothered to actually learn the language.

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Ah gotcha. It was my minor in college, so I got excited.

    • FemelleChevalier

      Sugoi! Watashi no nihongo wa heta desu. :P

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Iie! Subarashii desuyou!

    • FemelleChevalier

      Hontooni? Haha, arigatou. Shikashi, kore wa muzukashii desu. :P Nihongo ga joozu desu ne. :)

    • Aoki

      Stop googling your shit. You disappoint me and your ancestors.

    • FemelleChevalier

      LOL. I didn’t google anything. And you’re the one to talk: your Japanese is worse than mine.

    • Aoki

      Don’t talk to your blood superior like that! Onee-chan no baka!

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Blood superior? Excuse me?

    • FemelleChevalier

      Sorry! That’s my niece! O_O

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Ohhhhh that explains so much! Thanks for clarifying, I was getting nervous!

    • FemelleChevalier

      She’s just being a brat and a troll. I’m sorry again!

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      No apologies necessary! I thought she was a random stranger getting sassy with you and was ready to leap to your defense, that was all!

    • FemelleChevalier

      Awww, thanks!

    • FemelleChevalier

      Goddammit, Aoki. Stop messing around and stop pestering me. -_-

  • FemelleChevalier

    I think it’s just another case of being uninformed and overwhelmed with another culture, but I’m glad he apologized. This involves a really… touchy subject that shouldn’t be taken lightly: a little misunderstanding is still unacceptable. Some victims are still living and breathing today, weakened by old age and PTSD. People still hold grudges today, which resulted in decades-long hatred and racial tensions.

  • Davie Beausoleil

    I can’t belieb this. What a jackass.

  • Kay_Sue

    “for which I saw”…”I was mislead”…

    There are many transgressions I can forgive*, but not taking the time to google a photo op and these particularly egregious grammatical errors I cannot.

    *I lie. I am terribly and sometimes irrationally hard on Justin Bieber.

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Well that makes two of us.

    • Kay_Sue

      It feels good not to be alone.

  • A. Lee

    This thing is a grave mistake and is offensive to any Chinese. Good luck stepping in Mainland China, Taiwan, and even Hong Kong. Good thing he apologized, but unless Bieber reign in his idiotic fans who thinks that what he did is no big deal, he’ll be forever hated. This is simply unforgivable and I personally wanted to cram our history down those stupid children’s throat. Let’s see how they like it when foreigners invade their homeland and stick bayonets on pregnant women/men/children/elders, rape their grandmothers till they die, use their ancestors as target practice for fun, and treat their ancestors as sub-humans. Idiots.

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