BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

world

People Are Furious This Hotel Is Putting Right Wing, Anti-China "History" Books In Their Rooms

The book has a section stating President-elect Donald Trump's "radical statements have won over the 'poor whites' and non-intellectuals that make up the majority of the country."

Posted on January 17, 2017, at 9:37 p.m. ET

A tourist in China recently came across a book called Theoretical Modern History II in the room of a Japanese hotel chain called APA Hotels.

APA Hotels are a popular, low-cost hotel chain throughout Asia.
Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed / Via Apple Town

APA Hotels are a popular, low-cost hotel chain throughout Asia.

The user, KatAndSid, posted a video of the book on Chinese social network Weibo that's been now viewed over 90 million times.

It was posted by an American named Kat and a Chinese person named Sid. The video caption reads, "Everyone should know this truth."After making the video, the two apparently spent a day debating whether or not they should post it, but eventually they decided to do so saying on camera, "people who give money to this hotel deserve to know".
Weibo / Via weibo.com

It was posted by an American named Kat and a Chinese person named Sid. The video caption reads, "Everyone should know this truth."

After making the video, the two apparently spent a day debating whether or not they should post it, but eventually they decided to do so saying on camera, "people who give money to this hotel deserve to know".

The most controversial chapter for Chinese social media users is called "Japan Must Unite to Engage in Historical Warfare" and opens with claims that the Nanking Massacre never happened.

The Nanking Massacre was an incident of mass murder and mass sexual assault, acted out by Japanese troops after they captured the city of Nanking, the then capital of the Republic of China, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The massacre lasted six weeks and the death toll, depending on historical accounts, was as high as 200,000 according to some estimates. The incident has been a source of debate for prominent Japanese nationalists, however, with a governor of Japan's public broadcaster, NHK, denying it ever happened as recently 2014.
Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed / Via Apple Town

The Nanking Massacre was an incident of mass murder and mass sexual assault, acted out by Japanese troops after they captured the city of Nanking, the then capital of the Republic of China, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The massacre lasted six weeks and the death toll, depending on historical accounts, was as high as 200,000 according to some estimates. The incident has been a source of debate for prominent Japanese nationalists, however, with a governor of Japan's public broadcaster, NHK, denying it ever happened as recently 2014.

Users were outraged, with many claiming they would no longer stay in APA hotels.

"Okay. Tourists, you can go to Japan, but you’d better not visit this kind of hotel."
Weibo

"Okay. Tourists, you can go to Japan, but you’d better not visit this kind of hotel."

"They don’t have courage to write this in Chinese."
Weibo

"They don’t have courage to write this in Chinese."

Some users forwarded the video to the Communist Youth League of China, China's largest online travel agency Ctrip, and the South Korean embassy's official account.

"Please send complaints to the Japanese embassy in China. We need to demand the Japanese government to focus on dealing with this case, this is a case which might cause serious damage to the sentiments of Chinese citizens and other Asian countries. Just calling on the internet may not solve the problem enough, therefore, please send complaints to the Japanese embassy in China. Thank you very much!"
Weibo

"Please send complaints to the Japanese embassy in China. We need to demand the Japanese government to focus on dealing with this case, this is a case which might cause serious damage to the sentiments of Chinese citizens and other Asian countries. Just calling on the internet may not solve the problem enough, therefore, please send complaints to the Japanese embassy in China. Thank you very much!"

The author of the book is listed as Seiji Fuji, which is the pen name of Toshio Motoya, CEO of the APA Group, owner of APA Hotels. BuzzFeed News acquired a copy of Theoretical Modern History II and it's written in both English and Japanese.

Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed / Via Apple Town

Certain chapters are fairly mundane, with titles like "Japan Should Uphold the Concepts of International Cooperation and Proactive Contribution to Peace".

Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed / Via Apple Town

But Modern Theoretical History II also has sections like "Japan Should Use Jewish Marketing Companies to Correct Historical Falsehoods".

Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed / Via Apple Town

The book, which was published at the start of 2016, declares Republican Sen. Marco Rubio a "suitable choice" for the next US president.

Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed / Via Apple Town

But in a moment of impressive prescience, concedes that the most likely Republican candidate is Donald Trump.

Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed / Via Apple Town

"[Trump's] radical statements have won over the 'poor whites' and non-intellectuals that make up the majority of the country," Fuji writes. "His presidency would be an opportunity for Japan to become a truly independent country."

Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed / Via Apple Town

On the publications page of the APA Group's official website, the book is said to be "available in APA hotel rooms across [Japan]." The book is also sold in their lobbies.

Fuji explains in the book that he "wrote this 'theoretical modern history' book to revise the invented history concerning Japan." The text includes the following statements:

Japan is on the path to a tourism powerhouse. ....Japan also has the potential to attract 50 or 60 million foreign tourists in the future. Japan is located near countries with large populations such as India, China, and Indonesia, and is benefiting as these nations' income levels rise. I do feel that this is hindered by conflict with China and South Korea stemming from historical issues. But China has toned down its claims that 300,000 people were slaughtered at Nanking and that the Senkaku Islands are Chinese territory, perhaps because it becomes increasingly clear that these are falsehoods the more these issues are discussed.

In addition to quoting Wikipedia about the Nanking Massacre and calling it the "imaginary Nanking Massacre," he also refers to the comfort women issue as "history invented by China and Korea that many women had been forcibly displaced to be sex slaves".

The Republic Of China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying addressed the controversy in a recent Q&A.

"The forced recruitment of comfort women and the Nanjing Massacre are heinous crimes against humanity committed by the Japanese militarism during WWII, which is a historical fact recognized by the international community and supported by iron-clad evidence," Chunying said. "History will not change by the passing of time, and facts will not vanish because some people choose to turn a blind eye to them. Only by honestly facing up to the history can one truly have a future. We once again urge the Japanese side to earnestly acknowledge and reflect upon history, educate its people with the right historical perspective, and win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community with concrete actions."

BuzzFeed News reached out to APA Hotels for comment and they initially said they were "currently looking into the matter". They released this statement shortly after:

“In regards to the section in this book involving modern history, the author wrote based on theoretical opinions drawn out from analyzing numerous documents, not bound by the accepted views.

We understand that understandings of history and education of history may differ by country, but the book does not aim to criticize a specific country or citizen— it’s aimed solely at learning about real history based on facts. Therefore, we do not plan to remove the book from hotel rooms due to criticism from people with different stances. In Japan, freedom of speech is guaranteed, and we believe withdrawing our opinion through one-sided pressure from should not be allowed."

APA Hotels opened their first U.S. location in 2015 and purchased 36 locations in Canada in 2016.

This post was translated from Japanese.

ADVERTISEMENT