Asia

Japan arrest over Anne Frank book vandalism

  • 14 March 2014
  • From the section Asia
A damaged Anne Frank-related book in Tokyo, 21 February 2014
More than 300 copies of Anne Frank's diary and related books were vandalised

Police in Japan have arrested a man suspected of vandalising copies of Anne Frank's diaries and related material.

More than 300 copies of the books were found damaged in public libraries and bookshops in the Tokyo area.

The police have not identified the suspect, who is 36 and unemployed, and have yet to establish a motive.

Anne Frank's diary tells the story of her family's years of hiding in Amsterdam during World War Two before the Nazis sent them to death camps.

Police in Tokyo say the man they are questioning has admitted tearing pages out of 23 books. Japanese media reported there were doubts about his mental competence.

The man was arrested earlier for putting up posters in one of the bookshops where some of the damaged books were found.

The police are trying to find out if he was behind all the incidents of vandalism which have taken place in 38 libraries in western Tokyo since February.

Some questioned whether the incidents reflected a rightward turn in Japanese politics and a questioning of the truth of some atrocities during WWII.

During the news conference embassy officials said they were confident the vandalism did not represent the feelings of the Japanese

Israel's embassy in Japan has donated more than 300 Anne Frank-related books to public libraries in Tokyo since the attacks were reported.

Correspondents say that for many Japanese the book forms the basis of their knowledge about the Holocaust.

Anne Frank's diary was translated into Japanese in December 1952 and topped the bestseller lists in 1953.

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