Japanese Store Withdraws from Confab Featuring Anti-semitic Author

A leading Japanese department store has cancelled its sponsorship of a Tokyo forum June 2-3 following a protest by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith because the scheduled lecturer was Masumi Uno, the author of two anti-Semitic books.

Mitsuo Yamazaki, president of Seibu Department Stores, Ltd., said that Seibu has withdrawn from the forum at the Hotel Okura and that the event has been cancelled. In a letter to the company, Abraham Foxman, ADL associate national director, had asked that it not provide its “highly respectable platform” to further Uno’s efforts.

According to an announcement made by Saison, a part of the Seibu organization, the subject of the forum was “Signs of a Great Depression and Japan’s Future.” The circular contained the following question: “Are Jews the key to solving world problems?”

Uno, head of an Osaka-based group called the Middle East Problems Research Center, charged in his current Japanese best-seller, “If You Can Understand Judea, You Can Understand the World,” that American Jewish businessmen “orchestrated” a plot to increase the value of the yen in order to harm Japanese industry.

In the same book published last November, Uno claimed that the scope of the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews has been greatly exaggerated.

Foxman and Burton Levinson, ADL’s national chairman, met with Japanese Ambassador Nabuo Matsunaga in Washington in late March to lodge a protest against the Uno books and other anti-Semitic literature being circulated in Japan.

At that time the ADL officials offered the League’s assistance in setting up an educational and informational program in Japan to counter anti-Semitism.

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