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Wiesenthal Center tells Japanese band to apologize for SS attire

JTA

March 1, 2011 | 10:21 am

The Simon Wiesenthal Center called on the Japanese rock group Kishidan to apologize for wearing SS-like uniforms during an MTV Japan interview.

The center also criticized MTV and Sony Music for allowing the interview with Kishidan to air and offered to bring a Holocaust survivor to Japan to be interviewed on MTV Japan.

The six male members of the popular Japanese pop group are known for wearing Japanese school uniforms. The uniforms they wore for their Feb. 23 interview included 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. But global entities like MTV and Sony Music should know better,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, said in the statement.

“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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