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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Japanese mayor's massacre denial triggers tourism boycott

(Xinhua)

08:18, February 24, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Tensions between China's city of Nanjing and the Japanese city of Nagoya have escalated online in recent days, with many Chinese netizens appealing for an immediate apology from Nagoya's mayor and a travel boycott directed at the city following the mayor's blunt denial of a World War II massacre.

"The mayor of Nagoya should apologize immediately. He denied the Nanking Massacre in front of a delegation from Nanjing. It is not just a matter of understanding, but humiliation for Nanjing's people," Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times newspaper, posted Tuesday from his account on Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging site.

"If he refuses to do so, the Chinese government should declare him unwelcome, prohibit him from entering China and impose comprehensive sanctions. Nagoya can be taken off the schedules of Chinese tourist groups visiting Japan," Hu said.

Nagoya's mayor Kawamura Takashi said that the Nanking Massacre "probably never happened" on Monday while meeting with a delegation from Nanjing, prompting an outcry from the Chinese public.

Other netizens have echoed Hu's opinion, urging the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Tourism Administration to punish the mayor for his words.

An online survey conducted by huanqiu.com, a website operated by Global Times, showed that 97 percent of respondents support the idea of levying sanctions on Nagoya and its mayor.

"What a shame! We should refuse to work for Japanese companies or buy Japanese products, such as cars and electronic products," wrote one Sina Weibo user with the screenname "fengmantian."

Ju Jing, a correspondent for the Southern Weekly newspaper in Nanjing, wrote on his microblog that he objects to the holding of "Japan Week" in Nanjing, an event that was originally scheduled for March to promote Japanese culture and tourism.

Zhu Chengshan, president of the memorial hall for the victims of the Nanking Massacre by Japanese invaders, held online interviews with Chinese microblog users on Wednesday, stating that Kawamura should apologize and that people should view history "in a rational and objective way."

He mentioned that Kawamura's statement has been criticized by many Japanese, and that some Japanese media have translated and published Chinese media reports about the incident.

Matsuoka Tamaki, a retired Japanese teacher who spends her spare time collecting materials and evidence for the massacre and studying Chinese at Nanjing University, filed a formal written protest to the Nagoya government regarding the mayor's statement.

"Japan should have a proper attitude towards history and apologize sincerely to the victims," said Matsuoka.

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