Anne Frank diaries destroyed across Tokyo
21 February 2014, 18:20
Tokyo - Hundreds of copies of The Diary of Anne Frank and related books were vandalised in libraries in Tokyo, news reports say.
Library officials notified police after some pages of at least 265 copies of the diary and books about Anne Frank were found to have been ripped out at 31 libraries since January.
Government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga described the damage to the books, which were stored on open bookshelves, as "extremely regrettable and shameful".
The incident prompted US-based Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center to call for an investigation.
"The geographic scope of these incidents strongly suggest an organised effort to denigrate the memory of the most famous of the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis in the World War II Holocaust," said the centre's associate dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper.
"I know from my many visits to Japan, how much Anne Frank is studied and revered by millions of Japanese," Cooper added.