On Tuesday, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry welcomed a Japanese mayor to live up to his word and come to Nanjing to “kneel down and apologize” for the Nanjing Massacre.
The sharp words from spokeswoman Hua Chunying came in response to a question about Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura backing Japanese hotel chain APA’s controversial decision not to remove books denying that the Nanjing Massacre took place from their hotel rooms.
Kawamura said that if Japanese troops really slaughtered 300,000 Nanjing citizens, then the Japanese should go to Nanjing to “kneel down and apologize.” But if the Nanjing Massacre had never took place, then the Japanese side must refute it without hesitation. He then went on to voice his own opinion that there was no such thing as the Nanjing Massacre and the whole idea ought to be “thrown away.”
“I would like to say this to the Nagoya Mayor: the Nanjing Massacre is a historical fact. The international community has made its judgment on this part of the history. It is time for him to do what he has undertaken to,” Hua told a regular press briefing in Beijing.
Video of Kawamura’s comments went viral on Chinese social media earlier this week. Making him China’s public enemy number two, behind only APA Group CEO Toshio Motoya who has steadfastly refused to remove controversial books denying the Nanjing Massacre and “comfort women” from his hotels. Books which Motoya had written himself and appears quite proud of.
In response to APA’s intransigence on the matter, China announced a boycott on the hotel chain on Tuesday, demanding that Chinese tourism operators sever ties with the group and Chinese tourists not stay at their hotels.
This isn’t the first time that Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura has upset the Chinese people. Back in 2012, he denied that the Nanjing Massacre ever took place right to the face of a leading Nanjing official.
The mayor’s opinion on this was reportedly influenced by observations his father Kaneo Kawamura made during his visit to the city in 1945, where he was warmly received by the locals of Nanjing,
“Why were people in Nanjing kind to Japanese soldiers only eight years after the incident? I could go to Nanjing and attend a debate on the history of the city, if necessary,” Kawamura said at the time. “There were regular combative activities, but I believe the Nanjing (Massacre) never happened.”
Kawamura’s comments kicked up a storm, prompting a response from China’s Foreign Ministry, a fiery Global Times editorial calling for sanctions on the city and the suspension of Nagoya’s sister city status with Nanjing.
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