A Japanese hotel chain is facing a serious backlash from China after footage was published online showing that the hotel was carrying books denying the Nanjing Massacre and “comfort women.” Books which were written by the chain’s own CEO, and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Two New York University students, Kat from the United States and Sid from China, were staying at an APA hotel in Japan when they decided to peruse the hotel’s reading material, picking up a book titled Theoretical Modern History II — The Real History of Japan written by APA CEO Toshio Motoya under the pen name Seiji Fuji. In a viral video posted to Weibo on Sunday, Kat reads one selection from the book for Chinese netizens to hear:
But China has toned down its claims that 300,000 people were slaughtered at Nanking and that the Senkaku Islands are Chinese territory, perhaps because it becomes increasingly clear that these are falsehoods the more these issues are discussed.
The books are available in drawers inside every hotel room and at the front desk. They are written in Japanese with an English translation, but not a Chinese one.
Along with being an essayist and the president of one Japan’s largest hotel chains, Motoya is also the deputy director of a support group for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In the book, he implies that he will use the money he makes from his hotel business to support his own political views.
Motoya also hosts an interview series named “Big Talk” where he has further explained his own views on Japan’s wartime past:
Yet dropping the atomic bombs was a criminal act. The U.S. had to create a story in which it had no choice but to bomb Japan – a bad country – in order to end the war, which was a way of rationalizing what it had done. That’s why historical facts have been warped and Japan has been made to take responsibility for sins such as carrying out an aggressive war, slaughtering 300,000 people in the Nanking Massacre, and forcibly transporting 200,000 Korean comfort women. Of course the U.S. knows that the Nanking Massacre and comfort women stories are fabrications, but it can not admit that as doing so would mean the U.S. would assume responsibility for its sins. This is the curse of the atomic bombs that the U.S. is under.
Here’s another selection:
I have visited 81 countries across the world and spoken with important figures in each. I have also held dialogues with many ambassadors to Japan. In this way, I have learned that not a single person believes in things such as the Nanking Massacre or comfort women story, although they understand why China and South Korea continue making these claims. Moreover, people from across the world have a hard time understanding why Japan must suffer, without making valid objections, and continue apologizing regarding these assertions that are made by China and South Korea for their own national interests. We must not forget that Japan was commended at the Bandung Conference in 1955 by the Asian and African countries for making sacrifices so these nations could gain independence. World War II was not a war of aggression; Japan fought together with people in countries that had been invaded and colonized to free them from Western European rule.
The video post has since blown up on Weibo, garnering over 365,000 likes, 33,000 comments and 684,000 shares. Meanwhile, the video itself has been viewed over 94 million times. After watching the footage, many Chinese netizens promptly swore off staying at an APA hotel for life.
The resulting outrage even prompted a response from the Chinese Foreign Ministry. At a regular press conference yesterday, spokeswoman Hua Chunying said:
This once again shows that some forces in Japan are still reluctant to look squarely at history, and even try to deny and distort history. The forced recruitment of comfort women and the Nanjing Massacre are heinous crimes against humanity committed by the Japanese militarism during WWII, which is a historical fact recognized by the international community and supported by iron-clad evidence.
History will not change by the passing of time, and facts will not vanish because some people choose to turn a blind eye to them. Only by honestly facing up to the history can one truly have a future. We once again urge the Japanese side to earnestly acknowledge and reflect upon history, educate its people with the right historical perspective, and win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community with concrete actions.
However, the APA hotel group appears unconcerned by all the trouble the reading material has stirred up. Yesterday, the group issued a statement saying that it has no plans to remove the controversial books from its hotel rooms “just because of criticism from people with different views,” The Japan Times reports.
Of course, the Nanjing Massacre and Japanese skepticism of it has always been a touchy subject in China. Back in 2012, Nagoya mayor Takashi Kawamura made waves with comments denying that the massacre ever took place. Two weeks later, Tokyo’s far-right governor Shintaro Ishihara echoed his remarks.
“Let me make it clear,” Ishihara said, “It would have been absolutely impossible for the Japanese army to kill 400,000 people with that equipment in that period of time.”
According to the Global Times, some Chinese travel companies have already sworn off doing business with APA — which stands for “Always Pleasant Amenities” and uses the motto “Best for the Guest.”
You can watch the video made by Kat and Sid on YouTube:
Or on Tencent:
[Video via Weibo]
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