Low-cost apparel retailer Shimamura Co., has removed necklaces that resemble a swastika, which was the notorious symbol of the Nazi Party, amid a growing online backlash over the design.
At the center of the criticism is a gold-colored necklace, which is paired with a tank top and priced at ¥980. The emblem is engraved at the center of the accessory.
“We’re currently looking into the possibility that the necklace may have been inappropriate to sell,” Shimamura spokeswoman Miho Nakata said Friday.
The Saitama Prefecture-based apparel chain received a complaint from one of its shoppers Wednesday that the item was unsuitable for sale. It was the first time since the necklace went on sale in early July that a consumer has complained to the firm about its Nazi connotations, Nakata said.
The company withdrew the product Thursday from all of its 1,328 outlets nationwide. It remains unclear if or when the company will resume selling the item, Nakata said.
Shimamura was not involved in designing or manufacturing the necklace, which was made by a Japanese company. Nakata declined to reveal how many of the necklaces have been sold to date or whether the company had received any other complaints.
The news was quick to attract online criticism.
“I’ve noticed some people say the necklace is no big deal because this is happening in Japan,” Twitter user @kinkuma0327 said.
“But such logic is equal to saying we Japanese do not share the perception in the Western society that Nazi atrocities such as the Holocaust are reprehensible and never to be repeated.”
“Given there are Jewish and European residents living in Japan, the necklace is out of the question,” posted Twitter user @EmsjpinHI.