Justin Bieber apologizes for Japan war shrine trip

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Justin Bieber apologizes for Japan war shrine trip
Police said the 20-year-old has been accused of attempted robbery. It was Monday night here at the Sherman Oaks Castle Park where Bieber allegedly tried to snatch a young woman's phone. Bieber has not been arrested or questioned, police said. The incident comes as the Canadian singer is due to stand trial in July in Miami. He faces charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and using an expired license.
Police said the 20-year-old has been accused of attempted robbery. It was Monday night here at the Sherman Oaks Castle Park where Bieber allegedly tried to snatch a young woman's phone. Bieber has not been arrested or questioned, police said. The incident comes as the Canadian singer is due to stand trial in July in Miami. He faces charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and using an expired license.

Instagram photo of Justin Bieber at Yasukuni Shrine posted to Twitter by the Tokyo Reporter, which Bieber later removed from the photo sharing site.

This photo illustration shows a woman looking at a picture of Japanese Yasukuni shrine posted on the Instagram account of Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber after his visit to the controversial shrine in Tokyo on April 23, 2014. The troubled Canadian pop prince posted the snap of the Yasakuni shrine on his Instagram account -- tweeting the link to his 51 million Twitter followers -- but later took it down. 'Thank you for your blessings,' the 20-year-old star tweeted as he posted the picture, showing the backs of two people standing in front of the massive shrine pavilion. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2013 file photo, worshippers bow at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. Justin Bieber has apologized to those he offended by visiting Japan's Yasukuni war shrine the week of April 20, 2014, saying he was misled to see it as only a place of prayer. The Shinto shrine in Tokyo honors 2.5 million war dead, including 14 convicted war criminals. China and South Korea in particular see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan's past militarism and see visits to it as a lack of understanding or remorse over wartime history. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)
FILE - In this April 23, 2013 file photo, a group of Japanese lawmakers, seen silhouetted in the middle of the photo, offer prayers at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo during an annual spring festival. Justin Bieber has apologized to those he offended by visiting Japan's Yasukuni war shrine the week of April 20, saying he was misled to see it as only a place of prayer. The Shinto shrine in Tokyo honors 2.5 million war dead, including 14 convicted war criminals. China and South Korea in particular see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan's past militarism and see visits to it as a lack of understanding or remorse over wartime history. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)
Justin Bieber appeared briefly in front of Judge Joseph Farina, via video, clad in red jail-issued scrubs at Miami-Dade Circuit Court in Florida, Ja. 23, 2014. Bond was set at $2,500. (Walter Michot/Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 video frame grab released by the Miami Beach Police Department, shows singer Justin Bieber, right, as he gestures to a police officer while under arrest at the Miami Beach police in Miami Beach, Fla. The Miami-Dade county prosecutors released about 10 hours of video, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Bieber pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an invalid license. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept. HO)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 video frame grab released by the Miami Beach Police Department, shows singer Justin Bieber, right, as he gestures to a police officer while under arrest at the Miami Beach police in Miami Beach, Fla. The Miami-Dade county prosecutors released about 10 hours of video, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Bieber pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an invalid license. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept. HO)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 video frame grab released by the Miami Beach Police Department, shows singer Justin Bieber, center, walking unsteadily during a sobriety test at the police station in Miami Beach, Fla. The Miami-Dade county prosecutors released about 10 hours of video, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Bieber pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an invalid license. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept. HO)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 video frame grab released by the Miami Beach Police Department, shows singer Justin Bieber, right, taking to R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff , left, while both were under arrest at the Miami Beach police in Miami Beach, Fla. The Miami-Dade county prosecutors released about 10 hours of video, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Bieber pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an invalid license. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept. HO)
Justin Bieber, second right, and Chantel Jeffries, far left, walk with unidentified people on a beach in Punta Chame, Panama, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. A Panamanian radio and television host says trouble-plagued pop star Justin Bieber has been relaxing on a beach in Panama on a vacation from the United States. Eddy Vasquez was filming a show at the Pacific Coast resort in Punta Chame, about 90 miles west of Panama City, when he spotted Bieber and members of his entourage walking along the beach. (AP Photo/Eddy Vasquez)
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 05: Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Justin Bieber and Rick Ross attend Ciroc party at Vanquish Lounge on February 5, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)
Justin Bieber stands with Chantel Jeffries on the shoreline at a beach in Punta Chame, Panama, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. A Panamanian radio and television host says trouble-plagued pop star Justin Bieber has been relaxing on a beach in Panama on a vacation from the United States. Eddy Vasquez was filming a show at the Pacific Coast resort in Punta Chame, about 90 miles west of Panama City, when he spotted Bieber and members of his entourage walking along the beach. (AP Photo/Eddy Vasquez)
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 05: Justin Bieber attends Ciroc party at Vanquish Lounge on February 5, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 05: Justin Bieber attends Ciroc party at Vanquish Lounge on February 5, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 28: A general view of the media in front of the 52 police division on January 29, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. Justin Bieber turned himself into police to face potential charges for assault. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 29: Justin Bieber appears at a police station in connection with an alleged criminal assault on January 29, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jag Gundu/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 29: Justin Bieber appears at a police station in connection with an alleged criminal assault on January 29, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jag Gundu/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 29: Justin Bieber appears at a police station in connection with an alleged criminal assault on January 29, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jag Gundu/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 29: A general view of the police station where Justin Bieber appeared in connection with an alleged criminal assault on January 29, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jag Gundu/Getty Images)
The media and fans mill outside a Police Station in Toronto, Ontario after Canadian pop star Justin Bieber turned himself into police January 29, 2014. The young heartthrob will go before court on March 10, Toronto police said in a statement that came out just over two hours after he had handed himself in, amid chaotic scenes. The charges are the latest run-in with the law for the teen star after his Los Angeles home was searched because he allegedly hurled eggs at a neighbor's house, and his arrest in Miami Beach on January 23 for drag racing and impaired driving. AFP PHOTO / Geoff Robins (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - JANUARY 23: Justin Bieber is released from the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center after he was arrested for DUI and resisting arrest on January 23, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Uri Schanker/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - JANUARY 23: Justin Bieber is released from the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center after he was arrested for DUI and resisting arrest on January 23, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Uri Schanker/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - JANUARY 23: Justin Bieber leaves Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center following his arrest for DUI and resisting arrest on January 23, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - JANUARY 23: Justin Bieber leaves Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center following his arrest for DUI and resisting arrest on January 23, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 23: Justin Bieber prepares to stand on his vehicle after exiting from the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on January 23, 2014 in Miami, Florida. Justin Bieber was charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license after Miami Beach police found the pop star street racing Thursday morning. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Singer Justin Bieber leaves the Turner Guiford Knight correctional institute after posting bond on his DUI arrest on Thursday, January 23, 2014. (Hector Gabino/Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
These police booking mugs made available by the Miami Dade County Corrections Department show pop star Justin Bieber, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Bieber and singer Khalil were arrested early Thursday for allegedly drag-racing on a Miami Beach Street. Police say Bieber has been charged with resisting arrest without violence in addition to drag racing and DUI. Police also say the singer told authorities he had consumed alcohol, smoked marijuana and taken prescription drugs. (AP Photo/Miami Dade County Jail)
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BY MARI YAMAGUCHI

TOKYO (AP) -- Justin Bieber apologized Wednesday to those he offended by visiting a Japanese war shrine, saying he thought it was a beautiful site and only a place of prayer.

The Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo enshrines 2.5 million war dead, including Japan's 14 convicted war criminals, and operates a war museum that defends Japan's wartime aggression. It is a flashpoint between Japan and its neighbors that see the shrine as distinct from other Shinto-style establishments mainly honoring gods of nature. China and South Korea in particular see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan's past militarism and consider Japanese officials' visits there as a lack of understanding or remorse over wartime history.

Two images posted on Bieber's Instagram account were met with outrage from Chinese officials and by commenters on social media. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the pop star should remember China's position on Yasukuni.

"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.

Yasukuni confirmed Bieber visited earlier this week in what appeared to be a personal trip to Japan. A Yasukuni official, who spoke on condition of anonymity citing privacy of a specific visitor, said he strolled in the shrine's precincts, like other ordinary tourists, and most people didn't seem to notice.

The two photos, which were subsequently removed, showed Bieber praying outdoors at the shrine and standing beside a Shinto priest. The Yasukuni official said Bieber did not pray in the shrine's main prayer hall.

In a new Instagram post Wednesday evening, Bieber said he asked his driver to stop when he saw the "beautiful shrine," located in the capital's central district near Budokan hall, where he performed a concert in 2011. It's also near the Imperial Palace and other places tourists visit to see cherry blossoms, though they've mostly finished blooming.

"I was mislead (sic) to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer. To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry," the post said.

Bieber, 20, gained stardom with his debut album at age 15 but has had a string of recent legal troubles and criticism for perceived cultural insensitivity. Last year he wrote in the guestbook at the Anne Frank House museum that he hoped the Jewish teenager who died in a Nazi concentration camp "would have been a Belieber" - or a fan of his - if history were different. And he apologized after appearing to drag two Argentine flags off stage with his feet and a microphone stand during a concert there last year.

He's scheduled to go on trial in Miami on May 5 on charges of driving under the influence and resisting arrest. A misdemeanor assault case in Toronto is awaiting trial, and Los Angeles prosecutors are considering whether to bring a felony vandalism case against Bieber over eggs thrown at a neighbor's house in January.

The Yasukuni Shrine holds a spring festival April 21-23, a major event that already has drawn attention this week. Two of Japan's Cabinet ministers and nearly 150 lawmakers prayed at the shrine, triggering outrage from Beijing and Seoul.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has visited the shrine once during his current term in office, last December, worsening ties with those countries and triggered Washington's concerns. He sent a religious offering to the shrine on Monday, an indication he may not visit during the spring festival.

---

Associated Press news assistant Zhao Liang in Beijing contributed to this report.

Justin Bieber apologizes for Japan war shrine trip
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows one of his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows one of his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows one of his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows one of his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows one of his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows one of his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows one of his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Justin Bieber shows his tattoos at the police station after his arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, shows Justin Bieber at the police station in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
In this Jan. 23, 2014 photo made available by the Miami Beach Police Dept. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, shows Justin Bieber at the police station in Miami Beach, Fla. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested early on Jan. 23 during what police called an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing. (AP Photo/Miami Beach Police Dept.)
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