A Japanese hotelier who denies the 1937 massacre by the Imperial Japanese Army in the Chinese city known today as Nanjing ever took place has “no intention” of removing books with his revisionist views from his hotel rooms during the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Tokyo-based hotel and real estate developer Apa Group came under fire this year over books by CEO Toshio Motoya that contain essays in which he says the Rape of Nanking never happened. The atrocity has been memorialized in China by the construction of the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall.
The books are placed in every room of the company’s 400-plus Apa Hotels.
Following protests, including Chinese calls for a boycott of the chain, Apa temporarily removed the books from hotels hosting athletes for a sports event in Hokkaido.
In his latest book, entitled “The Real History of Japan: Japan Pride,” Motoya says the “so-called Nanking Massacre story” is “fabricated” and blames looting and killings in the city on members of the Chinese army.
“The Japanese army merely exposed and put to death the plainclothes soldiers (guerrillas) who abandoned their uniforms, stole the garments of regular citizens, and were hiding in the refugee zone with weapons and ammunition,” he wrote in the book, printed in English and Japanese.
China says Japanese troops killed 300,000 people in the city from December 1937 to January 1938. A postwar Allied tribunal put the death toll at about half that.
To the fury of China, some conservative Japanese politicians and academics deny the massacre ever took place, or put the death toll much lower.
On Friday, Motoya said he would not remove his books from the hotels during the Tokyo Olympics.
“Would I remove the books during the Olympics just because they’re the Tokyo Olympics? That’s really stupid,” he said at an event to mark the publication of the book.
His firm has 72 hotels, either built or in the planning stages, in Tokyo, which suffers from a hotel crunch that has planners fearing a shortage of rooms for the games.
“Is there something strange about putting my books in my hotels?” he asked. “From the start, I have no intention of removing them for that reason.”
Motoya also says the thousands of Korean women who were rounded up for the Imperial Japanese military’s wartime brothels — known euphemistically in Japan as “comfort women” — were not coerced.
He also denied on Friday that books were removed from hotels this year, saying contractual obligations meant that “nothing with information” could be left in the rooms.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.