The tourism body in the People’s Republic of China has urged its tour operators to severe ties with APA Group, a Japanese hotel chain after it refused to withdraw books denying the 1937 Nanjing Massacre from its hotel rooms. While some tour agencies have already done it, ahead of ‘governmental recommendations’ of the boycott, the government also called for all international tour operators and online platforms to remove the Japanese hotel chain from its listings.
The Nanjing Massacre or the Rape of Nanking, is a period of Japan’s war crime where Imperial Japanese Army forces brutally murdered hundreds of thousands of people, mostly civilians in the Chinese city of Nanjing. When the first troops of Japan’s Central China Front Army, commanded by General Matsui Iwane, entered the city, they held killing contests and pillaging with Chinese soldiers being hunted down and killed by the thousands.
Entire families were massacred with the elderly and infants targeted for public execution, while tens of thousands of women were brought to their knees and brutally raped.
Dead bodies were found on the streets for months following the invasion and when it was all over, the imperial Japanese troops looted and burned at least one-third of Nanjing’s buildings. While there are no official numbers for the death toll in the Nanjing Massacre, experts estimate the deceased to range from 200,000 to 300,000 people.
The Foreign Ministry of China also responded by saying that China would like friendly exchanges with Japan but not at the expense of Japanese public provocations that distort historical facts and offend the Chinese people.
Note: Since the report was published, Japan’s major business hotel chain, APA Group, has pledged to remove right-wing books denying the Nanjing Massacre from its rooms. APA Group’s president Motoya previously told Reuters that Chinese tourists only made up 5 percent of the chain’s customers in Japan and that a ban would not matter to his business.