Kashiwashobo Publishing Co., which canceled publication of a Japanese version of the U.S. best-seller “The Rape of Nanking,” said Thursday the translation deal collapsed because author Iris Chang rejected “corrections” the company wanted to make to the book.
Hiraku Haga, the publisher’s chief editor and executive managing director, told reporters the company had to add footnotes because the book contained many factual mistakes and erroneous photo captions.
Haga declined to specify the mistakes he claims Chang refused to correct, but added that “the tone of the book,” which he said shows hatred and anger toward the Japanese, was also “problematic.”
“The biggest mistake was a reference in the book that Japan, as a whole nation, is trying to cover up the Nanjing Massacre itself,” he said at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.
Kashiwashobo had planned to simultaneously publish the translation of Chang’s book and a separate book on the massacre written by noted Japanese historian Akira Fujiwara that refers to Chang’s errors.
But Chang refused to let the translation go out under those conditions, Haga said.
Threats from rightwing extremists against publishing Chang’s book were not a major reason for cancellation, he said.
Asked why Kashiwashobo decided to publish the book in the first place, Haga said the company thought it would be a problem if it didn’t release the best-seller in Japan. “The book is a stereotype of how the Japanese are viewed overseas,” he said.
Kashiwashobo plans to publish Fujiwara’s book, tentatively titled “The Nanjing Incident and the Japanese,” both in English and Japanese this summer. “This book will show what the biggest mistakes are in Chang’s book,” he said.