(Yicai Global) Jan. 25 -- China expects the mayor of one of the biggest Japanese cities to keep his promise to kneel-down and apologize for the Nanking (Nanjing) Massacre, China's ministry of foreign affairs said. Japanese APA Hotel chain's placement of books that deny the facts of the Nanking Massacre in its rooms has sparked public debates between China and Japan.
Takashi Kawamura, mayor of Nagoya, publicly denied the massacre's existence once again, and said that if the event had taken place, the Japanese must kneel-down and apologize. Provided Japanese armies really slaughtered 300,000 civilians, the Japanese must kneel and give apologies, Kawamura said on Jan. 23. But this event did not occur, he claimed.
The Nanking Massacre is a historical fact, which has long been recognized by the international community, Hua Chunying, the ministry spokeswoman, said yesterday at a press conference. Therefore, the mayor should honor his commitment, she said.
China is willing to conduct friendly communications with Japan, but will not be tolerant of Japan's overt provocations that distort history and offend the feelings of Chinese people, Hua said. Those acting recklessly will undoubtedly pay for their actions, she added.
Japan-based Asahi Shimbun reported that Kawamura expressed his full understanding for the behavior of APA Hotel and its board chairman Motoya at a press conference on Jan. 23, saying, "Do not care about the content. That's nothing serious."
"There were no civilians slaughtered at all, but only some ordinary acts of war, for even our government does not regard the slaughter as true," the mayor said.
However, afterwards Asahi Shimbun cited the Japan's foreign affairs ministry website as saying the Japanese Government holds the opinion that after entering Nanjing in 1937, Japanese armies murdered and robbed some non-combatants, which is an undeniable fact."
Yesterday, China National Tourism Administration announced its relevant measures, ordering all the outbound tourism enterprises and e-commerce tourism service platforms to completely cease cooperation with APA Hotel. CNTA ordered these groups to remove the APA from their local-guiding hotel lists and to take all tourism products and advertisements for the hotel off the shelf. Japan-bound Chinese tourist groups and visitors are asked to avoid this hotel.
The APA Group is a leading hotel chain operator in Japan. Tourists recently found right-wing books written by the group's CEO Toshio Motoya in guest rooms. The books deny the Nanjing Massacre and the existence of South Korean 'comfort women,' and claim that "the alleged crimes committed by Japan are lies fabricated to justify the dropping of atomic bombs by the US."
The group refused to remove the books in view of freedom of speech, despite protests from South Korea and China.