The APA group, which operates more than 400 hotels in Japan and entered the US market in 2015, has experienced a boycott from Chinese guests.
In January 14th, 2017, Two tourists who stayed at one of the APA Hotels posted a video on Weibo – the most popular social media in China – showing a book, which has being placed in all the hotel rooms.
The book was written by the hotel’s CEO. In it, he denied the existence of Nanjing massacre in 1937, and called it “a lie of Chinese government”. The book was in both English and Japanese, but not in Chinese.
The video caused strong backlash in China shortly after being posted. Hua Chunying, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, said the book “again shows that some forces within Japan refuse to squarely face history and even attempt to deny and distort history”.
For long period of time, the extent of Nanjing massacre has been a controversial ground between Japan and China. Most Chinese historians agree that the number of death during the massacre is approximately 300,000 people, according to the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal in 1946. International Military Tribunal for the Far East declared the number to be 260,000. But the estimation of Japanese historians are mostly between 100,000 to 200,000 people. Some Right-wing researchers even claim that the massacre never took place, but only a lie due to political need.
Due to the lack of documentation of the Nanjing massacre, it is extremely hard to trace the detail of the slaughter, and come out with a clear conclusion with the number of deaths. As a post-war effect, the Japanese government claimed that “it cannot be denied” that the “killing of a large number of noncombatants” occurred, but refused to admit the number of people killed and the crime occurred during the massacre, which certainly impacted the relationship between Japan and China.
As follow-up effect of the case, the APA group reflect that they has received “floods of opinions” about the book, but had no intention of withdrawing it from guest rooms.
The CEO of the hotel has been confirmed to hold a right-wing political view, and turns out to be an done of the party. His reaction has being supported by most right-wing people on social medias, but denounced by many others.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo that the Japanese government believed it was important “not to overly focus on the unfortunate past but for Japan and China to tackle issues currently facing the international community.”
Definitely, the respond was unable to pacify the backlash of Chinese people. A Chinese hotel decided to put The Good man of Nanking – a book about facts of the Nanjing massacre – in their hotel rooms with translation in several different languages.