Justin Bieber has apologized for visiting and taking pictures at the Yasukuni war shrine in Japan, saying he didn’t know of the shrine’s history.
The Yasukuni shrine, founded by Emperor Meiji, was originally built to commemorate individuals who had died in service of the Empire of Japan during the Meiji Restoration, but now honors over 2.5 million people dead from various wars.
The Yasukuni shrine is also a touchy subject to fellow Asian countries China & South Korea who see it as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism and see visits to it as a lack of understanding or remorse over wartime history.
Bieber had posted pictures of himself praying outside the shrine and standing beside a priest, attracting fierce criticism from Asia.
In a new Instagram post Wednesday evening, Bieber said he asked his driver to stop when he saw the shrine.
“I was mislead to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer. To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry,” the post said.