Japan hotelier under fire for anti-Semitic remarks
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Japan hotelier under fire for anti-Semitic remarks

In-house magazine placed in hotel rooms says 'Jewish people control American information, finance and laws'

APA Hotels CEO Toshio Motoya at a press conference in New York, New York on November 12, 2016. (Screen capture/YouTube)
APA Hotels CEO Toshio Motoya at a press conference in New York, New York on November 12, 2016. (Screen capture/YouTube)

The operator of a Japanese hotel chain already in hot water for denying a Japanese World War II atrocity has come under fire for reported anti-Semitic remarks.

Toshio Motoya is CEO of APA Group, which calls itself Japan’s largest hotel chain, and has drawn China criticism for writing a book denying the 1937 Nanjing massacre happened and placing copies in hundreds of APA hotel rooms.

The group also runs 40 hotels in North America and its February edition of an in-house magazine for guests staying at its Canada properties contained the anti-Semitic remarks.

“Jewish people control American information, finance, and laws, and they benefit greatly from globalization because they move their massive profits to tax havens so they don’t have to pay any taxes,” Motoya said in the magazine, according to Canadian online news website National Observer and the Japan Times newspaper.

A copy of "Theoretical Modern History II," a book written by APA Hotels CEO Toshio Motoya which denies the occurrence of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, in which the Japanese imperial army killed 300,000 people after inavaded the eastern Chinese city in December 1937. (Screen capture/YouTube)
A copy of “Theoretical Modern History II,” a book written by APA Hotels CEO Toshio Motoya which denies the occurrence of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, in which the Japanese imperial army killed 300,000 people after inavaded the eastern Chinese city in December 1937. (Screen capture/YouTube)

In response to a complaint by the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, Motoya denied being anti-Jewish.

“It is very unfortunate that my writings gave you an erroneous impression that I hold anti-Semitic beliefs,” he said in a statement posted on the federation’s website.

The APA Group, however, denied the statement was meant to say sorry.

It “is not an apology,” the hotel said Wednesday in a written reply to questions submitted by AFP. “It was issued to resolve the misunderstanding because (Motoya) was being stigmatized as an anti-Semite.”

The text of the February issue’s website version was revised and the printed version replaced with the March edition.

APA Hotels logo on the door of their property in Osaka, Japan. (Screen capture, YouTube)
APA Hotels logo on the door of their property in Osaka, Japan. (Screen capture, YouTube)

APA said Motoya changed the text and removed sentences that drew “misunderstanding.”

“Some expressions were slightly exaggerated, although they were meant to educate the Japanese,” APA said.

Actions and comments deemed anti-Semitic have frequently drawn controversy in Japan, with ignorance rather than malicious intent usually blamed.

Last year, Sony Music and the producer behind a Japanese girl band apologized for having the singers perform in military-style costumes resembling Nazi uniforms.

And rock band Kishidan angered the Simon Wiesenthal Center in 2011 when they wore a costume the Jewish organization said resembled a Nazi uniform.

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