A conservative national daily on Saturday apologized for carrying an advertisement for books whose author claims that Jewish people were behind the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The advert ran in a Nov. 26 regional edition of the Sankei Shimbun and promoted the works of Richard Koshimizu, a self-styled journalist and activist who also blames Jews for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States.
The natural disasters of 2011 sparked the man-made Fukushima nuclear disaster and left 18,000 people dead or missing.
A little-known figure in Japan, Koshimizu used the promotional space to market a book claiming the United States is a “Jewish dictatorship state” that detonated an atomic bomb deep underwater to deliberately trigger the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan’s northeast coastline.
In another book featured in the ad, Koshimizu claims the Holocaust was a fabrication designed to establish the state of Israel.
“It is extremely regrettable that an advertisement of this content was carried and delivered to our readers, and we deeply apologize to readers and the people of the Jewish community,” Sankei President Takamitsu Kumasaka said in a statement published in the paper.
“It was obvious there was a fault in our screening of advertisements,” he said.
Kumasaka added that he received a letter of protest over the ad from Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish rights group.
“The Sankei considers the Holocaust by the Nazis as an unforgivable, heinous crime and does not side,” the president said.
The Sankei said the ad was in the Tokai/Hokuriku edition covering central Japan, where it has a circulation of 5,000 copies.
Japan does not have a large Jewish community and the vast majority of the populace practices a mixture of imported Buddhism and indigenous Shintoism.