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Emperor Hirohito’s Memories Auctioned to Alleged Holocaust Denier

© AP Photo / Joseph B. Frederick / In this image from an Associated Press video, post-World War II memoirs composed by Japanese Emperor Hirohito are displayed at Bonham's Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in New York
In this image from an Associated Press video, post-World War II memoirs composed by Japanese Emperor Hirohito are displayed at Bonham's Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in New York - Sputnik International
The memoirs of Emperor Hirohito, who ruled over Japan during World War II, have been auctioned away, and the buyer’s identity is raising eyebrows: a notorious Japanese surgeon who denies the Holocaust happened and said the atrocities at Auschwitz and Nanjing were “fabrications.”

Dr. Katsuya Takasu, a cosmetic surgeon from Japan, has become the owner of Japanese Emperor Hirohito's memoirs. The emperor led Japan into World War II as part of the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Takasu paid $275,000 for the lot, almost twice as much as auction hosts expected to get for the books.

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According to Reuters, Takasu has drawn the fire and fury of Jewish human rights groups such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center for what they call "dismissing the Holocaust as fabrication." Takasu also claims that the number of victims in the Nanjing massacre — carried out by Hirohito's Japan — are also an exaggeration.

"I think both Nanjing and Auschwitz are fabrications," Reuters quotes Takasu saying in an October 2015 tweet.

However, when contacted by journalists, Takasu explained that he has never been a Nazi proponent and he has his own views on separate historical topics. In an interview with Reuters, he acknowledged he praised Nazi achievements in medicine during the era.

"If you look at all my tweets, I am clearly against Nazism. But I do highly evaluate the wonderful medicine of that era," he told journalists.

​Speaking about Auschwitz, he pointed out that the Chinese side used to claim that the Japanese killed some 300,000 people in the 1938 Nanjing massacre. However, the Allied tribunal determined that the actual figure is about half that. Therefore, he speculates that Auschwitz death toll might be exaggerated as well.

"What I wanted to say was that it is said that six million or seven million were killed (in the Holocaust) but was that not several tens of thousands?" Takasu asked.

"It is said that 300,000 were killed in the Nanjing massacre but was that not 6,000 to 7,000 people instead? That is what I meant by ‘fabrication."

"It (the criticism) is from those who have skillfully picked out some of my tweets and maliciously interpreted them and it is a misunderstanding," he said.

Although estimates of the death toll in Nanjing range wildly from 30,000 to 300,000 people, Takasu's suggested corrective is far below even the lowest estimates. Extending that attitude toward the Holocaust is why Jewish human rights groups are so up in arms.

For Takasu, acquiring Hirohito's memoirs has special meaning. He said in an interview that he thought it contains a message to the royal family and the Japanese people, and therefore should be kept in Japan.

Hirohito's memoir ends with his statement that if he had vetoed the decision to go to war, it would have resulted in a civil conflict that would have been even worse and "Japan would have been destroyed," according to the Bonhams website, the auction house that sold the memoirs.

Despite presiding over Japan's war in China and across East Asia and the Pacific, including the massacre at Nanjing, Emperor Hirohito was not prosecuted as a war criminal after the war as the leaders of the other defeated Axis nations were, "largely due to the US occupation authorities' decision to retain the emperor as a symbol of a newly democratic nation," Reuters reported.

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