China’s tourism administration encourages tour operators to remove hotels of a certain Japanese chain from their offers in order to response to the hotelier’s denial of the tragic events in Nanjing, China, in 1937.
The problem appeared because of historic books written by Toshio Motoya, who is the president of APA Group, large Tokyo-headquartered hotel and real estate developer. These books can be found in every guestroom in more than 400 hotels of APA Group. Under the pen name Seiji Fuji, Motoya shares his view of the Nanjing massacre and calls it “impossible” for the Japanese army to participate in that. The response of China was quick and firm. The China National Tourism Administration posted a press release on their official website, in which it demands tour operators to refrain from making any bookings in hotels that belong to APA Group and stop all cooperation with the hotels. They also asked Chinese tourists to stop booking rooms at hotels of that chain in order not to spend any money there.
The press release was quickly copied by Chinese state-run media that started a campaign to boycott the Japanese chain. For example, in the official Xinhua agency news the book was called “just the tip of the iceberg” as the ultra-right wing in Japan tries to change the history of the country. APA Group was asked to provide comments, but they didn’t give any immediate respond.
The occupation of Nanjing is a difficult theme for the neighboring countries. China and Japan have different opinion on the point. According to China, during the Japan’s occupation of Nanjing, Japanese troops killed 300,000 people. Around a half of those people were killed in accordance with a death toll issued by a post-war tribunal. Some conservative Japanese politicians, in their turn, completely deny the massacre or say the total number of killed people was much lower.