- Title: China warns Japanese hotel group APA not to distort history
- Date: 24th January 2017
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (JANUARY 24, 2017) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF APA HOTEL SIGN OF HOTEL READING (English): "APA VILLA HOTEL" ENTRANCE OF APA HOTEL PEOPLE ENTERING APA HOTEL EXTERIOR OF APA HOTEL BOOK OF PRESIDENT OF APA GROUP, TOSHIO MOTOYA PHRASE ON BOOK READING (English): "THE REAL HISTORY OF JAPAN" PEN NAME OF MOTOYA, SEIJI FUJI PARAGRAPH OF THE BOOK ON NANJING MASSACRE
- Embargoed: 7th February 2017 10:19
- Keywords: Japan China APA Hotel history book
- Location: BEIJING, CHINA/ TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: BEIJING, CHINA/ TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Various
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00360FWPJ9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday (January 24) warned Japanese hotel group APA not to distort history and hurt the Chinese people's feelings after an escalating row over the hotelier's denial of the 1937 massacre by Japanese troops in the city of Nanjing.
A furor erupted this month over books by Toshio Motoya, president of Tokyo-based hotel and real estate developer APA Group, that air his revisionist views and are placed in every room of the firm's more than 400 hotels.
Motoya, using the pen name Seiji Fuji, wrote that stories of the Nanjing massacre were "impossible": "These acts were all said to be committed by the Japanese army, but this is not true."
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that anyone who acts recklessly will have to pay the price.
"China is willing to have friendly exchanges with the Japanese side, but will never allow flagrant provocation that distorts history or hurts the Chinese people's feelings. No matter who, if acts recklessly, is bound to pay the price for this," she told reporters at a daily briefing in Beijing.
Earlier on Tuesday, the China National Tourism Administration has urged all tour operators to sever ties with APA and called on Chinese groups and the many tourists to resist APA's wrong approach.
APA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Japan's wartime occupation of Nanjing, and the resulting massacre is a highly contentious issue between the uneasy neighbours.
China says Japanese troops killed 300,000 people in the city. A post-war Allied tribunal put the death toll at about half that. To the fury of China, some conservative Japanese politicians and academics deny the massacre took place, or they put the death toll much lower.
Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda downplayed the incident, saying China and Japan should continue to cooperate.
"We think it is one of the magazines that have been placed for its customers by a privately owned hotel. So from the view of that Japanese government, we have no intentions of monitoring content, nor do we have commenting on whether or not this (the magazine) can be placed (in the hotel) or not," said Hagiuda.
"Japanese government believes that Japan and China should work together on common issues that the international community is facing, rather than focusing too much on the unhappy past," Hagiuda added.
Japan attracted about 6.3 million tourists from China last year, the largest such bloc of visitors, up nearly 28 percent from 2015. Their spending helped buoy the sluggish economy, in areas from hotels to cosmetics.
APA President Motoya previously told Reuters Chinese tourists only made up 5 percent of the chain's customers in Japan and that he did not expect the row to affect the hotel.
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