S Koreans condemn right-wing Japanese hotel distorting wartime history

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-21 21:36
SEOUL -- South Korean people condemn a right-wing Japanese hotel chain, which caused uproar by placing books distorting the Imperial Japan's wartime history in guestrooms of its 400-plus hotels.

APA Group touched off anger online both in South Korea and China for books, one of the hotel chain's amenities, which deny the 1937 Nanjing massacre and the comfort women, or Korean women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese military brothels before and during World War II.

A video was recently posted on a social networking site showing passages from a book, titled "The Real History of Japan: Theoretical Modern History Two," authored by Toshio Motoya, president of the Japanese land developer and operator of hotels for budget-conscious tourists.

His book, written under the penname of Seiji Fuji, supports history revisionist views, claiming that Japan's wartime atrocities were concocted by South Korea and China. It describes comfort women victims as common prostitutes, while claiming the Nanjing massacre was fabricated despite a plethora of evidences.

"Such absurd acts by civilian Japanese rightists were triggered partly at the instigations of the right-wing Japanese government and right-leaning media outlets," Cheong Wooksik, director of local advocacy group Peace Network, told Xinhua on Saturday.

Choeng said promoting and selling books, which deny the comfort women issue and the Nanjing massacre, is an "unrighteous act" though Motoya is just a civilian hotelier, urging the Japanese government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to take the lead in looking squarely at history.

Though there are conscientious activists working in Japan, the director said, ultra-right moves spread on shortage of government and media efforts in Japan to allay "clannish nationalistic acts," which he said are very regrettable amid frayed ties between Northeast Asian neighbors.

South Korean news organizations, the majority of them focusing on the scandal that resulted in the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, put their spotlight on right-leaning responses from Japanese netizens.

Yonhap news agency reported that a majority of comments, posted by Japanese netizens on the Internet, support the distorted books put in APA's hotel rooms, with some encouraging the hotel executives and others describing it as freedom of speech.

The report caused furor here over Japan, leading South Korean netizens to post negative online comments on the Japanese hotel chain and the right-leaning Japanese society.

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