Sony, Japanese band apologize for Nazi costumes


(JTA) – Sony Music apologized after the popular Japanese rock group Kishidan appeared on MTV Japan wearing SS-like uniforms.

The apology Wednesday came after The Simon Wiesenthal Center called on the band, Sony and MTV to apologize.

In a message posted on the band’s website, Sony said it was sorry for the costume worn by the band during the MTV interview.

"Although it was not meant to carry any ideological meaning whatsoever we deeply regret and apologize for the distress it has caused Simon Wiesenthal Center and all concerned," the letter read. "Members of Kishidan also deeply regret and apologize to you in this matter.

"We have duly received the words of advice from Simon Wiesenthal Center and take them very seriously. Kishidan will never again use this costume and it will be disposed of immediately. We will not broadcast, transmit, or distribute the video recording of Kishidan’s performance with the said costume and the recording will be disposed of immediately."

The center had offered to bring a Holocaust survivor to Japan to be interviewed on MTV Japan.

The six male members of Kishidan are known for wearing Japanese school uniforms. The uniforms they wore for their Feb. 23 interview included an insignia used by the SS, according to reports.

”As someone who has visited Japan over 30 times, I am fully aware that many young Japanese are woefully uneducated about the crimes against humanity committed during World War II by Imperial Japan in occupied Asia, let alone about Nazi Germany’s genocidal ‘Final Solution’ against the Jews in Europe," Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, said in a statement. "But global entities like MTV and Sony Music should know better."

“Such garb like the uniform worn by Kishidan is never tolerated in the mainstream of any civilized country outside of Japan. In spite of all the efforts made by democracies to combat bigotry, racism and hate crimes, there are young people who are attracted to a racist ideology and the symbols of Nazism like those that inspired the uniforms worn by Kishidan. It is wrong for anyone, including people in Japan, to dismiss such marketing as mere ‘faux-rebellion.’ ”

Cooper called on the band to apologize to its fans and to the victims of Nazism.

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