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Interview: Japanese hotel magazine with anti-Jewish article "shameful": Canadian institute chief

Xinhua, February 17, 2017 Adjust font size:

A major Japanese hotel group's in-room magazine with anti-Semitic content is "shameful", said the chief of a Canadian pro-diversity organization on Thursday.

Bernie Farber, the executive director of the Toronto-based Mosaic Institute, told Xinhua he was given a copy of an article published in the February edition of Apple Town, the in-room magazine of Coast Hotels, a subsidiary of Japan's APA Hotels and Resorts.

"This was a legitimate magazine that appears in the rooms of Coast Hotels," he said. "It was just absolutely shameful ... I was kind of stunned to read it."

In the article, the APA chain's president, Toshio Motoya, equated "international finance capital" with "Jewish capital", according to a story published by Canada's National Observer on Feb. 10.

Motoya said "Jewish people control American information, finance, and laws, and they benefit greatly from globalization because they move their massive profits to tax havens so they don't have to pay any taxes. Many Jewish people support the Democratic Party," according to the report by the Canadian online news site.

Farber sent Xinhua a link to the article, which had been scrubbed of the offensive content.

"This was the kind of stuff that you saw 50 years ago, that Jews control the economy, they own all the banks," Farber told Xinhua in an interview on Thursday. "It was sort of startling to see and pretty remarkable given that it's 2017. I have absolutely no explanation for it."

He said Coast Hotels, a well-known chain in Canada, has not offered a clear apology for originally publishing the article.

The article was initially called "Trump's Presidency is an Opportunity for Constitutional Reform" with the sub-title: An American counteroffensive against Jewish Globalism, according to the National Observer.

The sub-title is no longer included in the online version of the article, which is a discussion between Japanese politician Satsuki Katayama, and Motoya.

Xinhua has not seen the original copy. But according to the National Observer's account, Motoya argued that anger against the Jews in the United States led to the election of President Donald Trump, and that Jews form the top one percent in the United States, provoking "dissatisfaction and anger towards them."

Coast Hotel's Vancouver headquarters did not respond to a request by Xinhua seeking comment from management.

"From time to time, we have to deal with issues of racism and xenophobia and Islamophobia, and I think people have a kind of guess that anti-Semitism has gone the way of the dinosaurs," Farber added.

Farber said the offensive content appears to be more than just a mistake.

"It was just inconceivable that this wasn't done with some malice of intent," he said. "It's hard to believe otherwise. This isn't some neo-Nazi magazine. This is a corporate magazine."

Motoya founded the APA Hotel Group in 1971. The chain has more than 373 hotels in Japan and 38 properties in North America. Endi