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Los Angeles (JTA) — A promi-
nent Japanese daily newspaper
has formally apologized to Jew-
ish groups for advertising books
that claim the world is secretly
controlled by Jews.
The apology by Yomiuri Shim-
bun, said to be the world's largest-
circulation newspaper, was
issued to the American Jewish
Committee and Anti-Defamation
League in response to protests by
th.,se groups and by the Israeli
Embassy in Tokyo.
The offensive advertisement
by the Tokuma Shoten Publish-
ing Co., which ran in the 10-mil-
lion circulation newspaper,
promoted a number of books that
"explain" modern history as a se-
ries of Jewish plots to dominate
In an identical letter sent to
Neil Sandberg, director of the AJ-
Committee's Pacific Rim Insti-
tute, and ADL National Director
Abraham Foxman, the heads of
Yomiuri Shimbun's advertising
and public relations departments
wrote, "We sincerely regret the
publishing of an advertisement
which, as you point out, can be
said to promote racism.
"We accept your criticism on
this matter and disassociate our-
selves from the contents of the ad-
vertisement in question," they
"Please be assured that hence-
forth, taking your point into con-
sideration, we shall redouble our
efforts to avoid the printing of ad-
vertisements without checking
their credibility, and to deal with
world affairs without bias or big-
According to reports from
Tokyo, Jewish conspiracy books
are a cottage industry in Japan.
Generally in the form of mystery-
thrillers, the books' plots might
link such people as the pope, the
queen of England and U.S. pres-
idents as Zionist conspirators
bent on destroying Japanese in-
Despite the popularity of such
books, with sales over 1 million,
Rabbi James Lebeau of Temple
Beth David in Tokyo said he had
never heard of any attacks or vi-
olence against Jews in Japan.
An estimated 2,000 Jews,
mostly Americans, live in Japan.
The issue of the anti-Semitic
books is years old and has been
on the agenda of numerous meet-
ings between Jewish groups and
Japanese officials. Symposiums
have been held on the subject and
Japanese scholars have spoken
out vociferously against the books
while explaining the myriad rea-
sons for their existence.
The AJCommittee and Simon
Wiesenthal Center held meetings
in past years with the Japanese
Publishers and Editors Associa-
tion, advertising executives and
Asked why the problem con-
tinues, Mr. Sandberg of AJCom-
mittee ventured that "the
Japanese culture moves very
slowly. When decisions are made,
even major ones, by government
or other key institutional entities,
it takes time for the messages to
be conveyed and appropriate cor-
rective action to take place."
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, asso-
ciate dean of the Simon Wiesen-
thal Center, said he attended four
meetings on this matter in Octo-
ber 1993 in Japan. He met with
executives of the newspapers
Yomiuri Shimbun and Nikei
Shimbun, "both of which had run
the same kind of ads last year."
He also met with executives of
Asahi Shimbum and with the
publishers and editors group.
Given the recurrence of this
type of advertisement, he said, "It
is quite appropriate that they
would issue an apology."
Jerusalem (JTA) — The United
States reportedly has signed an
agreement to develop a plot of
land in Jerusalem on which a
new embassy will be built.
The United States, along with
most other foreign countries, has
never officially recognized
Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,
maintaining only consular offices
there while keeping its embassy
in Tel Aviv.
According to a recent issue of
the Jerusalem Report, construc-
tion at the site in southern
Jerusalem will be completed in
1999, the time by which Israel
and the Palestinians are expect-
ed to have signed an agreement
on the final status of Jerusalem,
the West Bank and Gaza.
Israeli sources quoted in the
article said that when Israel and
the Palestinians resolve all out-
standing issues regarding
Jerusalem, the United States will
declare the building its new em-
Construction at the site has
been held up because Israel in-
sisted that the United States rec-
ognize the site as the future
location of its embassy.
American officials opposed
this, and a compromise was fi-
nally reached by defining the
compound as a place for "diplo-
matic use," where "a very senior
diplomat" would live.