Organizer of Asian Winter Games making accommodation change for Chinese athletes

Updated 2017-02-01 11:15:15 China Daily

The organizer of the 8th Asian Winter Games (AWG) in Sapporo is making new arrangement on the hotel for Chinese athletes who were previously scheduled to stay in scandal-hit APA hotel, an official of the organizer confirmed to Xinhua on Tuesday.

Following "receiving instructions from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA)", the AWG organizing committee is at present coordinating the change of accommodation for Chinese athletes from APA hotel in Sapporo to other hotels, Suziki Yasushi, an official with the accommodation security section of the organizing committee told Xinhua through telephone.

The coordination is going on, and the timing for an official announcement relies on the result of coordination, he said.

The Tokyo-based APA hotel chain has sparked public outrage recently as books carried in its hotel rooms in Japan deny Japan's history of aggression including the 1937 Nanjing Massacre and the forced recruitment of "comfort women" before and during World War II.

Also on Tuesday, APA Group announced that it received a written request on Monday from the organizing committee of the 2017 Sapporo AWG, in view of this, it will remove all equipped items, except items designated by the organizer, from all guest rooms in its hotel in Sapporo.

The 8th AWG will be held in Sapporo and Obihiro during Feb 19-26. To save cost, there is no athletes village built for the event, instead, two local hotels, including APA Hotel&Resort Sapporo, are chosen as official designated reception hotels for athletes.

According to accommodation arrangement, athletes from Chinese and South Korean delegation will stay in the APA hotel.

An official of the AWG organizer in Sapporo told Xinhua on Jan.19 that the organizer has asked the APA hotel to remove right-wing books from its guest rooms.

The Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) on Jan.26 announced that it has made representations to the Japanese side over the issue, requesting the Japanese organizer to strictly observe the Olympic Charter and relevant provisions of the OCA, and to seek a proper solution as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the COC has sent a letter to the OCA, asking the OCA to urge the Japanese side to correct errors. South Korea also made similar request.

The COC on Jan.26 confirmed a reply from the secretary-general of the AWG organizers, which said the APA hotel has made a decision to remove the books from the rooms, hotel lobby, and the reception desk.

An estimated 300,000 Chinese were massacred in six weeks after the Japanese army occupied Nanjing, the then capital city of China in December 1937. It was one of the worst atrocities committed by Japan against civilians in the 20th century.

However, the books displayed in APA hotel rooms, with versions in Japanese and English, written by APA Chief Executive Toshio Motoya, are filled with right-wing, revisionist views, including but not limited to statements such as: "the Nanking Massacre was fabricated by the Chinese side and did not actually happen", comfort women were just common prostitutes, and the International Military Tribunal for the Far East is the winner's revenge to the loser.

Two APA hotel guests from New York uploaded a video message on the internet on Jan. 15, showing the books placed in the hotel guest rooms and sold at the front desk as well. The online video soon went viral on social media sites and attracted tens of millions of views.

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