Japanese Hotel Group APA placed copies of a book written by the company CEO in all hotel rooms. Sounds nice, but the book calls the 1937 Nanjing massacre of 300,000 Chinese troops and civilians by the Japanese a "fabrication."
APA Founder Toshio Motoya wrote under a pen name but admitted to writing the book and having them distributed throughout the group's 370 budget hotels. A hotel guest's video showing the book content went viral on Weibo with 95 million views, according to Skift. At least one Chinese travel company in Japan stopped booking guests in APA hotels.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, said, "This once again shows that some forces in Japan are still reluctant to look squarely at history, and even try to deny and distort history."
APA responded in a statement, translated here. In this excerpt and throughout the statement, the company makes no apologies:
Although we acknowledge that historic interpretation and education vary among nations, please clearly understand that the book is not aimed to criticize any specific state or nation, but for the purpose of letting readers learn the fact-based true interpretation of modern history. Therefore, we have no intention to withdraw this book from our guest rooms, no matter how many denounces may be made about it from whatever viewpoint. Japan constitutionally guarantees freedom of speech and no one-sided pressures could force any assertion made get repealed.
- Did the company make a mistake by placing the books in hotel rooms? What are the rationale and consequences?
- How do you assess the company's response? Consider principles of responding to customer complaints in Chapter 7.
- Would you stay at an APA hotel? How, if at all, does this situation influence your decision?