UK & World News
Anne Frank Books Destroyed In Tokyo Libraries
Pages have been torn from copies of Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl kept in libraries across Tokyo.
The act of vandalism also included other books which mentioned the German Jewish girl, who documented her family's life hiding in concealed rooms during the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands.
"We have complaints from five of (Tokyo's 23) wards so far but I don't yet know exactly how many libraries are affected," Satomi Murata, the head of the council, said.
"We don't know why this happened or who did it."
Toshihiro Obayashi, deputy director of the central library in the Suginami area, said 119 books had been damaged at 11 of its 13 public libraries.
"Each and every book that comes up under the index of Anne Frank has been damaged at our library," he said.
Several books with titles including the word "Holocaust" were among 41 books vandalised at nine libraries in the Nerima area.
At least one lender moved all its books relating to Anne Frank behind the counter to protect them.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the US-based international Jewish rights group, said the vandalism appeared to an attempt to "denigrate the memory" of those killed in the Holocaust.
"Only people imbued with bigotry and hatred would seek to destroy Anne's historic words of courage, hope and love in the face of impending doom," Abraham Cooper, the centre's associate dean, said in a statement.
"We are calling on Japanese authorities to step up efforts to identify and deal with the perpetrators of this hate campaign."
Police are investigating the damage but the motive for the attacks is unclear.
The vandalism comes amid criticism of a rightwards shift in Japanese politics under nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Recent comments about Japan's wartime past have sparked accusations of revisionism by China and South Korea.
Anne Frank and her sister died of typhus in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945.
Her diary was added to the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's Memory of the World Register in 2009.
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