Simon Wiesenthal Center Urges Producer and Sony Music to Apologize over the use of Nazi-themed Costumes by Japanese Girls Group, “Keyakizaka46”

October 31, 2016

The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed its disgust over the use of Nazi-themed uniforms donned by a girl’s music group “Keyakizaka46” at a recent performance in Japan.

“We are calling on Sony Music and the group’s producer, Yasushi Akimoto to apologize for this inappropriate and deeply offensive presentation,” charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Watching young teens on the stage and in the audience dancing in Nazi-style uniforms causes great distress to the victims of the Nazi genocide.”

“This is a time when the Simon Wiesenthal Center is struggling against increased anti-Semitic attacks and burgeoning online hate around the world. Even if there was no harm intended by the group, that performance cheapens the memory of victims of the Nazis and sends the wrong message to young people in Germany and other countries where neo-Nazi sentiment is on the rise. We expect better from an international brand like Sony which has caused embarrassment to Japan,” Rabbi Cooper added.

Rabbi Cooper, who will travel to Japan in November for the opening of The Courage To Remember: The Holocaust 1939-1945 — The Bravery of Anne Frank and Chiune Sugihara Holocaust exhibition in Okinawa, urged Sony Music, Mr. Akimoto, and members of “Keyakizaka46” to visit the exhibition.


The Courage To Remember: The Holocaust 1939-1945 — The Bravery of Anne Frank and Chiune Sugihara was jointly organized by the Soka University and the Simon Wiesenthal Center and is based on the SWC’s educational exhibit, “The Courage to Remember.” The new version of the exhibit focuses on Japanese diplomat and hero Chiune Sugihara as well as on the life of Anne Frank. It provides a compelling historical account of the Nazis’ murderous campaign in which 6 million Jews and other victims of the Nazis were targeted and killed between 1939 and 1945, according to organizers, and uses documents, photographs, items which belonged to Holocaust victims and other rare objects to tell the story.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook,, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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