Books denying Japan's history of aggression including the 1937 Nanking Massacre and the forced recruitment of "comfort women" before and during World War II are on display in a hotel room of an APA hotel. [Photo: Xinhua]
Controversial books placed in guest rooms in Japanese hotel chain Always Pleasant Amenity (APA) Group will be removed before the upcoming Asian Games.
"From February 12, the Asian Games Organizing Committee will carry out a thorough check on the items in the guest rooms that the athletes are going to live in. It's our right to remove books that are politically and culturally biased", a committee member told Japanese media, fawan.com reported.
"But we do hope that the APA hotels remove the books prior to that," the committee member added.
As there will be no athlete village during the 8th Asian Winter Games (AWG) in Sapporo and Obihiro from February 19 to 26, two hotels were chosen as official designated reception hotels for the athletes, and APA Hotel&Resort Sapporo is one of them.
Chinese and South Korean athletes are among those who have arrangements to live in the hotel, according to Xinhua.
A video posted by two APA hotel guests on Chinese media platform Weibo showed a book placed in a hotel room that denies crimes committed by Japanese troops during Japan's invasions of Korea and China.
The post went viral and met strong protests from Chinese netizens.
The book- Theoretical Modern History II - The Real History of Japan, written by APA Group's CEO in both English and Japanese, denies the Nanjing Massacre in China as well as forced prostitution in China and on the Korean Peninsula by the Japanese military before and during World War II, according to the video.
The APA hotel chain has also been placing other right wing books written by its CEO Toshio Motoya under the pen name Seiji Fuji in its guest rooms, according to media reports.
APA has released a statement on its website refusing to remove the books from its hotels.
China has also been boycotting the hotel chain in various ways.
Leading Chinese travel services such as Qunar.com and Ctrip.com have removed information for the APA hotels from their platforms.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying responded to the controversy, urging the Japanese side to earnestly acknowledge and reflect upon history.
On January 24, the China National Tourism Administration asked all Chinese travel agencies and e-commerce platforms to stop cooperating with the APA hotel chain.