Japan Vows Investigation of Anne Frank Book Destruction in Tokyo Libraries


More Than 200 Copies of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ Or Related Books Damaged


TOKYO—Japan’s chief government spokesman said Friday that police are conducting a “thorough investigation” into apparent vandalism of books in Tokyo public libraries related to the story of Anne Frank, the Jewish girl who hid with her family in the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II.

The statement from Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga came after reports that more than 200 copies of “The Diary of Anne Frank” or books connected to her had been purposely damaged at libraries in the Tokyo area. No motive has been offered for the vandalism, which libraries said they first noticed in late January.

“If these cases are confirmed, it cannot be tolerated, and is extremely regrettable. This is a shameful act and I am confident that the police authority is making a thorough investigation,” Mr. Suga said in a regular briefing.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles called on Japanese authorities Thursday to step up their efforts to find those responsible for what it called “this hate campaign.”

“I know from my many visits to Japan, how much Anne Frank is studied and revered by millions of Japanese. Only people imbued with bigotry and hatred would seek to destroy Anne’s historic words of courage, hope and love in the face of impending doom,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the center, in a statement released on its website.

The diary was published after Frank’s death in a concentration camp at age 15. (By William Sposato)