Trouble seems to have a way of following pop star, Justin Bieber wherever he goes. His latest debacle happened while in Japan, and it was a biggie! He stopped by the Yasukuni Shrine, where he inadvertently paid respect to Japan’s fallen soldiers of war, and after posting an Instagram photo of himself at the shrine, Justin Bieber offended millions of people across Asia.
The Yasukuni Shrine located in Tokyo, Japan was founded by Emperor Meiji to serve as a place of remembrance for Japanese soldiers who died during times of war. In addition, the shrine includes the Yushukan war museum that houses numerous artifacts and documents that record military activity and casualties of war dating back to the beginning of the Meiji Restoration through the end of World War II.
While Bieber’s post received more than 666,000 likes, fans in China and South Korea were outraged and asked him to remove the post out of respect. Bieber tried to explain away his latest snafu saying he simply did not know he was visiting a war shrine. Instead, he thought it was a shrine people went to when they wanted to pray. He was quick to remove the post and issue an apology saying he was sorry and that he loved both China and Japan. However, his halfhearted comment did little to soothe those who were outraged by his previous post because the damage had already been done; Justin Bieber had offended people across Asia.
Bieber, like most young kids of his age are quick to speak and slow to think. Oftentimes, situations like this happen as a result of immaturity, lack of respect, and downright ignorance, which leads to many embarrassing encounters and Bieber, has had his fair share.
In fact, this is not the first time Bieber has made a mockery of a historical tragedy. One year ago, while visiting the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, he paused to sign the guestbook, which would not have been bad if he had simply signed his name. However, in classic Bieber fashion, he had to stick his foot in his mouth. He began by saying it was inspiring to visit the museum and that Anne was a great girl, but he took it way too far when he said he hoped she would have been one of his fans, better known as a “belieber.” It did not take long for Bieber’s comment to appear on The Anne Frank House Facebook page, and when visitors read what he had to say, they lashed out in anger saying his comment was nothing more than self-serving.
Hopefully, as Bieber ages, he will mature and learn to think twice before commenting publicly about things or places with which he does not have a clear understanding. However, in the meantime, it certainly would not hurt for him to study up on places he intends to visit so he will be a bit more prepared and not stick his foot in his mouth again. Otherwise, Justin Bieber will most likely continue to make a fool of himself like he did when he signed the Anne Frank Museum guestbook and when he offended people across Asia.
Opinion By Donna W. Martin