A Japanese hotelier has come under fire after allegedly making anti-Semitic remarks in an interview published in a magazine distributed through his Canadian properties.
According to the Japan Times, the comments were made by Toshio Motoya, the founder and CEO of APA Hotels — one of the country’s largest chains. They were reportedly printed in the February issue of Apple Town, a magazine for APA guests distributed to Canadian subsidiary Coast Hotels.
The Japan Times reports that in the issue — which has since been withdrawn from circulation — Motoya said that “Jewish people control American information, finance, and laws, and they benefit greatly from globalization because they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.”
The interview apparently ran under the subtitle “An American counteroffensive against Jewish globalism.” The subtitle and the quote in question were not visible in the article’s online edition when TIME accessed the web page.
News of the alleged comments sparked condemnation from Jewish groups in Canada, the Japan Times says. A statement purportedly from Coast Hotels said that the Canadian company was “deeply saddened at the concerns raised by the Jewish community” over the material.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver published what appeared to be a separate statement from Motoya addressing the issue, but the hotelier stopped short of apologizing. “It is very unfortunate that my writings gave you an erroneous impressions that I hold anti-Semitic beliefs,” he wrote.
The hotelier is no stranger to international backlash. Just last month, CNN reported that the Chinese state imposed a boycott on APA, after books placed in APA’s Japanese properties were found to contain paragraphs by Motoya denying the veracity of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, during which hundreds of thousands of Chinese were killed. The hotel chain defended the book’s placement on grounds of freedom of speech.