13:55 31 January 2017
China athletes unlikely to stay at controversy-linked Sapporo hotel
SAPPORO, Jan. 31, Kyodo
The organizing committee of the upcoming Asian Winter Games is arranging to change accommodation for Chinese athletes from the APA Hotel in Sapporo, where copies of a controversial book denying the 1937 Nanjing Massacre are placed in guestrooms, a committee source said Tuesday.
Following a furor in China over the book's placement in APA hotel guestrooms, the Olympic Council of Asia, the apex sporting body that governs sports events in Asia, and the Chinese Olympic Committee have both requested that Chinese athletes not be accommodated at the hotel during the sporting event.
The athletes can stay at the Sapporo Prince Hotel, the other hotel within the city designated for athletes' accommodation, or other hotels outside the area, according to the organizing committee.
The 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games involving participants from 31 countries and regions will start next month in Hokkaido. The APA Hotel in Sapporo was going to host the largest number of athletes.
The book in question is a compilation of essays written by Toshio Motoya, head of the hotel chain operator, APA Group. The book, written in Japanese and English and placed in every guest room at APA group hotels, asserts that the Nanjing Massacre, which China says resulted in the deaths of more than 300,000 people, was fabricated.
The APA hotel chain has told the organizing committee that it intends to remove information materials including the book from the guest rooms at the Sapporo hotel.
Japanese historians have estimated the number to range from the tens of thousands to 200,000.