January 14, 2022

Japanese hotel to remove books denying Nanjing massacre

TOKYO (Reuters) – A Japanese hotel chain criticized for books written by its president denying China’s wartime Nanjing massacre will remove them from a hotel hosting athletes at the Sapporo 2017 Asian Winter Games, said on Wednesday organizers.

FILE PHOTO – Signs featuring photos of APA Hotel Chain President Fumiko Motoya can be seen in her headquarters building in Tokyo, Japan on January 19, 2017. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon / File Photo

The Tokyo-based hotel and property developer APA Group is at the center of a fury over President Toshio Motoya’s books, which contain his revisionist views on history and are placed in every room of the more than 400 APA hotels around the world. company.

Motoya, using the pseudonym Seiji Fuji, wrote of the Nanjing massacre that “these acts were all allegedly committed by the Japanese military, but this is not true”. He also denied stories of Korean women forced to work as prostitutes in wartime military brothels, the so-called “comfort women”.

China says Japanese troops killed 300,000 people in Nanjing from December 1937 to January 1938. A post-war Allied court put the death toll at around half. Much to China’s fury, some conservative Japanese politicians and academics deny that the massacre took place, or they lowered the death toll.

An official for the 2017 Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, which will take place February 19-26, said that when the APA hotel in Sapporo was chosen to host athletes last year, it verbally agreed to withdraw the disputed material of the rooms.

“Our goal is to create an environment where all athletes can perform at their best,” added the official, who declined to give his name. The organizers are also working to find alternative accommodation for Chinese athletes.

The APA said in a statement on its website Tuesday that it had received a written request from the Games organizers with “advice” on in-room amenities.

“Based on this, during the games period, we will remove the materials from the rooms and keep them safe at the hotel,” he added.

The APA was not immediately available for further comment.

Chinese tourism authorities have urged tour operators to sever ties with the hotel chain after refusal escalates, and boycott calls have been made on social media against the hotel and travel to Japan.

Motoya told Reuters in an email last month that the Chinese made up only 5% of his hotel guests in Japan and that he was not worried about the impact of a possible boycott.

Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Michael Perry

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