Zhang Zhehan Controversy: CAPA Demands for Ban on Chinese Actor over Controversial Visit to Japan's Yasukuni Shrine

After coming under severe criticism from netizens for his visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Japan, Chinese actor Zhang Zhehan is now facing the wrath of China's Association of Performing Arts (CAPA), which has urged the film industry to ban the actor from working in movies.

Chinese Actor Zhang Zhehan's Visit to Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine
Chinese Actor Zhang Zhehan's Visit to Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine. Instagram

CAPA's Statement
On Sunday, 15 August, the CAPA said in a statement that it is the responsibility of the actor representing cultural activities to have a good understanding of history, and "ignorance should not be an excuse." His visit has hurt the emotions of Chinese nationals and sets bad example for the youths, who follow him. As a result, the association is now demanding the industry to boycott Zhang Zhehan, as per a report on Global Times.

A controversy broke out after pictures of Zhang Zhehan at Yasukuni Shrine in Japan started doing rounds on social media sites. He was also spotted attending a wedding at Nogi Shrine.

These are considered as controversial sites as it is a symbol of Japanese militarism and honors convicted war criminals while beautifying "Japan's past colonial rule and war of aggression."

So, the actor's visit came under severe criticism from the Chinese media and netizens.

Zhang Zhehan Paying Heavy Price
Zhang Zhehan is already paying a heavy price as 20 brands have cuts off all the ties. "National dignity is something that can't be disturbed," Wahaha, one of the brands endorsed by the actor, said in a statement for terminating his contract.

If this is not enough, he is thrown out of his upcoming film Formed Police. This controversy has also made netizens wonder whether his career is over.

It has to be noted that the Chinese actor is facing backlash despite giving an apology. "I am ashamed of my ignorance, and deeply apologize for my previous misbehavior," the actor wrote on Twitter-like Weibo. He added, "I hereby solemnly apologize [for..] some content in my photos that seriously hurt the feelings of the Chinese people,"

China Slam Japan's Defense Chief Nobuo Kishi's Visit to Yasukuni
Meanwhile, China has criticised Japan's Defense Chief Nobuo Kishi over his visit to Yasukuni Shrine. "Japan should seriously reflect on its history of aggression, keep in mind the historical lessons, correct its mistakes and gain the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community through concrete actions," China said in a statement.