Japanese hotel chain APA Group is to remove right-wing books from rooms at its hotel hosting athletes of the 8th Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, the event’s organizers said yesterday.
“The APA hotel has made a pledge to the organizer that it will remove the books from rooms to accommodate athletes from all countries,” Hisamu Yamazaki, an official working in the athletics section of the organizing committee said.
“The organizer will check all the rooms before the Games start to confirm all the books are removed,” he said.
The Games are being held in Sapporo and Obihiro from February 19 to 26. To save costs, organizers have not built an athletes village, but chose two local hotels as official designated reception hotels for athletes.
APA Hotel & Resort Sapporo is one of the two hotels.
According to accommodation arrangements, athletes from the Chinese and South Korean delegations will be staying in the hotel.
The organizing committee had requested that APA remove the right-wing books placed in the hotel’s rooms, a staff member working in the media section of the organizing committee said last week.
APA Group sparked public outrage recently when it was revealed that the books in its hotel rooms in Japan were denying Japan’s history of aggression, including the 1937 Nanjing Massacre and the forced recruitment of “comfort women” before and during World War II.
Last week, two APA hotel guests from New York uploaded a video message on the Internet, showing the books placed in hotel rooms and on sale at the front desk.
The video went viral on social media sites and attracted tens of millions of views.
The books, with versions in both Japanese and English, written by APA Chief Executive Toshio Motoya, are filled with right-wing, revisionist views, including but not limited to statements such as “the Nanjing Massacre was fabricated by the Chinese side and did not actually happen,” “comfort women” were just common prostitutes, and the International Military Tribunal for the Far East is the winner’s revenge to the loser.
The 8th Asian Winter Games will feature five sports, 11 disciplines and 64 events.