China's tourism authority has called for a boycott of a Japanese hotel chain just days before the week-long Lunar New Year break after the hospitality group denied the 1937 Nanking Massacre and refused to withdraw a book placed in its rooms with its version, triggering a furor in the world's second largest economy and imperiling tourism flows to Japan.
Writing under the pen name Seiji Fuji, Tokyo-based hotel and real estate developer APA Group president Toshio Motoya said that stories of the Nanjing massacre were "impossible": "These acts were all said to be committed by the Japanese army, but this is not true," he wrote.
The book in Japanese and English is placed in APA hotel rooms across the chain's 400 establishments and Motoya has refused to pull them out even amid Chinese anger, triggering calls to boycott the hotel in the last week since the issue surfaced.
In a statement available on its Chinese language website on Tuesday, the China National Tourism Administration's spokesman Zhang Lizhong said APA's approach was a "blatant provocation of Chinese tourists".
"We call on Chinese groups and the many tourists who visit Japan to resist APA's wrong approach and avoid spending money at this hotel," he said.