WASHINGTON (May. 6)
McDonald’s Corp. has apologized to the Anti-Defamation League on behalf of its Japanese partner’s “stereotypical references” to Jews in recent public comments.
Den Fujita, the fast-food company’s business partner, wrote a book entitled “The Jewish Way of Doing Business,” which has sold more than 1 million copies.
He told The New York Times in a March 22 interview that business people in Osaka “are craftier than those from Tokyo because Jews settled in Osaka about 1,000 years ago.”
When asked about the impact of his statements, Fujita replied that he does “not consider it insulting to characterize Jews purely as stereotypes.”
“Please don’t misunderstand me,” he said. “I’m trying to do something good for the Jewish people. Most Jewish people speak two or three different languages. They’re good at mathematics. The Japanese should learn from that.”
Fujita has since written another book, “How to Blow the Rich Man’s Bugle Like the Jews Do.”
In a letter to ADL National Director Abraham Foxman, McDonald’s Chairman Michael Quinlan said that he told Fujita that his comments “could be interpreted as bigoted” and “were insensitive and could be hurtful.”
But Quinlan said that Fujita’s views are “not intentionally prejudicial, nor his beliefs anti-Semitic.”
Fujita “expressed his personal and profound apologies and asked me to pass these apologies on to all who were, or could be, offended,” Quinlan added.
Foxman said he accepts Fujita’s “apology at face value,” but that he remains “troubled by Mr. Fujita’s mind set.
“We look toward his future actions, words and behavior to see if he has truly understood our discomfort,” Foxman said.