Did the Nanking Massacre happen? For one Japanese hotel chain CEO, the killing of thousands of Chinese civilians by the Japanese troops in 1937 is just “imaginary.”
APA Group president Toshio Motoya wrote a book about it, which he placed in his hotel’s guestrooms. The land development firm, which operates over 400 hotels, has earned the ire of guests for spreading the company’s revisionist take on the history, several news agencies reported.
Naturally, offended guests began to complain, demanding that the books be removed.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying was quoted as saying that “some forces in Japan have been denying history from the outset and even attempting to distort it.”
The Chinese government has already filed a complaint, but the company has remained adamant, saying that it is standing by its boss’ beliefs.
A video posted by user KatAndSid via social media site Weibo on Monday exposed the controversial book “Theoretical Modern History” written by Motoya under the pseudonym Seiji Fuji.
In the clip, subtitled in Chinese, a female tourist is shown purchasing the book at an APA hotel in Tokyo. She then showed parts of the book that called the infamous massacre an “imaginary” event created by the Chinese government to antagonize Japan.
The tourist then noted that although the hotel’s owner is entitled to his opinion, she believes that people, especially the customers of the hotel, should know about it.
“People who give their money to this hotel deserve to know the truth about it,” she said.
The Nanking Massacre, also called “the rape of Nanking,” is a historical point during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 when Imperial Japanese Army forces brutally raped and murdered hundreds of thousands of people, civilians and soldiers, in the Chinese city of Nanking.
The horrific wartime episode lasted over a period of six weeks.
China has reported that up to 300,000 people were killed, while certain Japanese nationalists claim the number has been greatly exaggerated. Some, like APA’s CEO, denies that there even was a massacre.
In his book, Motoya wrote that the killing of 300,000 people was not possible since Nanking’s population at the time was only 200,000.
Even Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed doubts over the historical accounts of the Nanking Massacre.
The Japanese government even went as far as suspending its contribution to the United Nation’s educational unit when historical documents of Nanking were included in a Unesco heritage list in October 2015.