The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Los Angeles-based human rights group, on Monday issued a protest to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun-sha over an advertisement appearing in the Aug 2 edition of its Tokyo edition that it alleges to be anti-Semitic.
In a press release also posted on its website, the Wiesenthal Center's associate dean Abraham Cooper blasted the Nihon Keizai Shimbun for having "broken a longstanding commitment to desist from running advertisements that promote anti-Jewish stereotypes, by running an advertisement for two books that promote the canard of Jewish control over the global economy."
The advertisement for "Why did the Jewish financial system collapse?" (author: Kotaro Nada), which appeared on page 6 of the Tokyo edition, was placed by publisher Apple Shuppan. The ad asks rhetorically, "Is it true that the Rothschild family controls the global economy?" and purports to explain what was behind the failures of Lehman Brothers, AIG, Citibank and Bear Stearns.
The ad also touts a second work by Nada titled "Jewish Money: Why are they able to continue to move the global economy?"
The Nihon Keizai Shimbun boasts a claimed daily circulation of over 3 million copies. It is often compared to The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.
The Wiesenthal Center had made previous efforts to dissuade the Nikkei from providing space for offensive ads.
"In 1993, our center protested to the Nikkei for running ads," Rabbi Cooper pointed out. "That led to a commitment never to return to such practices. That commitment was shredded by the running of this advertisement."
Cooper was referring to a one-third page ad placed by publisher Daiichi Kikaku Shuppan that appeared in the Nikkei in July 1993. Festooned with a Star of David, pentagram and various satanic symbols, that ad claimed to reveal that the distorted image of Mt Fuji reflected on Lake Kawaguchi on the now-defunct 5,000 yen banknote was actually Mt Sinai -- evidence that the Bank of Japan, Ministry of Finance and other institutions had been infiltrated by a "Jewish conspiracy" aiming to "destroy Japan."
The vernacular Nikkei did not apologize for the 1993 advertisement, but issued a disclaimer asserting that it in no way "agrees or supports the expressions used in the advertisement." A spokesman at that time also reaffirmed the company had "no bias whatsoever toward the Jewish community."
Works touting Jewish conspiracies can be found for sale in most major book chains in Japan and via Amazon.com's Japanese site. While the popularity of such works appears to have declined in recent years, the SWC and other Jewish organizations may fear a new resurgence.
"Japan should not return to its status as the number-one producer of anti-Semitic books which legitimized . . . the most insidious conspiratorial anti-Jewish stereotypes," Cooper remarked. "Considering the sorry current state of the world economy and the spiking of anti-Semitism across Europe, Nihon Keizai Shimbun and Nikkei company have an obligation to cancel any future ads of this nature, apologize to its Japanese-language readers for this outrageous misstep and educate its current leadership about anti-Semitism."© Japan Today