Sources say there are about 1,000 Jews living in Japan – .001 percent of the population.
Nevertheless, someone is targeting books about Holocaust victim Anne Frank in that country’s public libraries.
Associated Press reports that “scores of books” about Frank have been vandalized in Tokyo public libraries since the beginning of the year, mostly in the form of dozens of pages ripped. Librarians have counted at least 265 damaged books at 31 municipal libraries since the end of January, A.P. reports.
How does anti-Semitism – which clearly must be fueling this bizarre behavior – developed in a place where there basically, are no Jews?
Perhaps this seemingly inexplicable situation can be at least partially explained by the fact that there are between 70,000 and 100,000 foreign-born Muslims living in Japan, plus about 63,000 ethnic Japanese Islamic converts, according to online sources.
Japan and Nazi Germany were allies in World War II, each empire suffering from its own form of superiority complex that lead it to commit atrocities against people it deemed inferior. The story notes that Holocaust denial has occurred in Japan at times. But “the motive for damaging the Anne Frank books is unclear,” and “police are investigating,” the story notes.
A high-ranking Japanese official called the vandalism “shameful” and said Japan would not tolerate such acts, A.P. reports.
A Tokyo city official is quoted saying that “Books related to Ms. Anne Frank are clearly targeted, and it’s happening across Tokyo. It’s outrageous.”
At least one library has moved Anne Frank-related books behind the counter for protection, though they can still be checked out, the story says.
By way of background, the A.P. notes that “Anne Frank wrote her diary over the two years she and her family hid in a concealed apartment in Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II. After her family was betrayed and deported, she died in a German concentration camp at age 15 in 1945.
Her father survived and published her diary, which has become the most widely read document to emerge from the Holocaust.”
The U.S.-based Jewish human rights organization, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called the vandalism a hate campaign and urged authorities to step up efforts to find those responsible.
Though it’s believed there have been Muslims in Japan since the early 1900s, there was a huge influx in the 1980s. There were about 30,000 in 1982, sources say, but by 2000, estimates soared to nearly 100,000, most of them foreign-born. There are 30 and 40 single-story mosques in Japan, plus another 100 or more apartment rooms set aside for Muslim prayer, online sources say.
By contrast, these sources suggest there are possibly two synagogues in Japan, one in Kobe and one in Nagasaki.
Since it’s been nearly 70 years since the end of the Holocaust, and nothing like this anti-Semitic vandalism thing has happened in Japan before, as far as I can tell, I can’t help thinking that this disparity may be playing a part.
Call me a cynic, but I will be really surprised if it’s learned that the vandals are regular, run-of-the-mill Japanese who have not been influenced by Islamists.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here