A swarm of Chinese protesters marched in Tokyo on Sunday against APA, the Japanese hotel chain responsible for distributing books that claimed the Nanjing Massacre is pure fiction. However, things got heated when they faced right-wing activists who supported the books.
The Chinese protesters assembled at Shinjuku Central Park before heading to an APA hotel two kilometers away. They carried banners that read, “Boycott APA, safeguard national dignity”, “Freedom of speech shall not violate human conscience” and “Peace shall be treasured,” according to CGTN.
The movement was countered by dozens of far-right Japanese activists who yelled over megaphones and tried snatching banners from peaceful demonstrators. They also carried the Rising Sun Flag, the symbol of Imperial Japan and their own banners, with one stating (via The Japan Times):
“Japan is a country with freedom of speech, and you should change China into the country that has the right of free speech as well.”
Speaking to The Global Times, Fang, a 22-year-old Chinese student in the protest, said “right-wing activists called us ‘Shina pigs’ and asked us to ‘get out of Japan.’ They also shouted, ‘Nanjing Massacre does not exist,’ asking us to ‘learn history harder.'”
Thankfully, police were present to keep everything in order. They were unable to estimate the total number of protesters, but according to organizers on the Chinese side, some 200 participated.
The controversial book was written by Toshio Motoya, APA Group’s CEO, under the pseudonym Seiji Fuji. Copies were distributed in each guest room of the company’s hotels, which number to at least 400. Furor escalated when guests noticed the revisionist approach of the material.