China calls for boycott of Japanese hotel

Beijing, Jan 24 (IANS) China has asked its tourists to boycott a Japanese hotel chain after it refused to withdraw a book left out for guests that denies Japanese forces massacred Chinese in Nanjing.

This is a blatant provocation to Chinese tourists and has violated the industry’s professional ethics, Zhang Lizhong, spokesman of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), was quoted as saying by China Daily.

The Japan branch of CNTA has urged the hotel, APA, to withdraw the book authored under a pseudonym by the owner of the chain.

However, an official statement of APA said: “Japan constitutionally guarantees freedom of speech, and no one-sided pressure can force any assertion that is made to be repealed.”

Zhang said CNTA has asked the whole industry to stop doing business with APA hotel chain.

“We also hope all Chinese tourists should boycott the hotel,” added Zhang.

In 1937, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japanese soldiers brutally murdered anywhere between 40,000 to 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed combatants in the city of Nanjing, then the capital of the Republic of China.

Anywhere between 20,000 and 80,000 women were sexually assaulted during the attack which came to be known as the Nanjing Massacre.

As Japanese military records of the period were destroyed at the end of World War II in 1945, historians have been unable to come up with an accurate estimate the death toll.

Though China’s official estimate is more than 300,000 dead, the toll has been actively contested among scholars since the 1980s.