A group of Japanese publishers are banding together to arrest the growing popularity of books and magazines that are highly critical of China and South Korea, Asahi Shimbun reported on Thursday.
Amid growing diplomatic tensions between Japan and its two neighbors, many of these books are becoming bestsellers, the report said.
In late April, about 20 employees of several publishers gathered in Tokyo to discuss ways to halt the publication of articles and books that are stirring up hatred of other nations with which Japan has territorial disputes or differences over historical interpretations.
“The words used in advertising for weekly magazines that are critical of China and South Korea are just terrible,” one participant was quoted as saying.
This year alone, seven books critical of the two nations have made it to the weekly top 10 list for softcover nonfiction works compiled by Tohan Corp., which serves as a distributor between publishing companies and bookstores, according to the newspaper.
“We wanted to demonstrate that there were many people who think the current situation is wrong,” said Yu Iwashita, who works in the group’s secretariat. “We want to create a trend to encourage the entire publishing industry to think about this issue.”
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