The organizer of the eighth Asian Winter Games (AWG) in Sapporo said Thursday that the APA hotel designated to host athletes during the games has started to remove controversial books from its guestrooms.
The APA Hotel & Resort Sapporo will complete the process of removing all the "information materials" from its guestrooms before the athletes check in, said Nabeshima, a staff of the organizing committee.
The eighth AWG will be held in Sapporo and Obihiro during Feb. 19-26 and to save costs, the organizing committee has chosen two local hotels as official designated hotels for the athletes, and the APA Hotel & Resort Sapporo is one of them.
However, the Japanese APA hotel chain has recently sparked fury among Chinese and South Koreans for placing history-distorting books in its guest rooms.
The books, authored by Seiji Fuji, the pen name of APA Group CEO Toshio Motoya, denied that the Nanjing Massacre and the forced recruitment of "comfort women" ever happened.
The Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) has urged the organizers of the eighth AWG to solve the "APA hotel problem" swiftly and properly.
The COC pointed out that the APA Group's behavior violates the rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, which stressed that the athletes should compete "without being drawn into political controversies," and the competition should "provide a Games environment that lets athletes compete without distractions from divisive and emotional issues outside the world of sport."
South Korea's top sports body Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) has also demanded Japan not to accommodate its athletes taking part in the 2017 AWG in the right-wing Japanese hotel chain.
The organizing committee has made arrangement for athletes from China and South Korea to stay in the Sapporo Prince Hotel during the games at the request of top sports bodies of the two countries.