China, S Korea athletes boycott APA hotel
Added On February 9, 2017
Chinese and South Korean athletes are refusing to stay at APA's Hotel and Resort in Japan's Sapporo for the Asian Winter Games.
The boycott is a protest against the hotel's refusal to withdraw controversial history books from its guest rooms.
The organizing committee said it has made alternative arrangements for athletes from China and South Korea to stay in the Sapporo Prince Hotel.
The change comes at the request from top sports bodies in the two countries.
SOUNDBITE (Japanese) : HISACHIKA YAMAZAKI, Official of the AWG Organizing Committee
"The South Korean side told us that they don’t want to live in APA hotel, so we arranged another hotel for them. The Chinese side also made a similar request. We have already sent a notice to the Chinese Olympic Committee that we’ll arrange the Chinese athletes to stay in the Sapporo Prince Hotel during the games at 7 pm. on Feb. 6."
The eighth Asian Winter Games will be held in Sapporo and Obihiro in late February.
The APA Hotel & Resort Sapporo is one of the officially designated hotels for athletes chosen by the organizing committee.
However, the Japanese APA hotel chain has recently sparked outrage from Chinese and South Korean citizens after it equipped its guest rooms with new history books that deny Japanese war crimes.
The books, authored by APA Group CEO Toshio Motoya, claim that the Nanjing Massacre and the forced recruitment of "comfort women" never happened.
The Chinese Olympic Committee has urged its Asian Winter Games counterpart to take swift measures to solve the issue.
The COC said the APA Group's behavior violates the Olympic Charter which states that athletes should be able to compete "without being drawn into political controversies". It also says there should be a "Games environment that lets athletes compete without distractions from divisive and emotional issues outside the world of sport."
The APA Group's behavior violates the Olympic Charter which states that athletes should be able to compete without being drawn into political controversies. There should be a Games environment that lets athletes compete without distractions from divisive and emotional issues outside the world of sport.(Source: Chinese Olympic Committee)