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ADL To Japanese Mayor: Don't Give City's Imprimatur To Anti-Semite And Holocaust Denier

New York, NY, June 6, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is calling on the mayor of the city of Kyoto to take steps to prevent the public appearance in a city venue of a Japanese political extremist who promotes Holocaust denial and virulent anti-Semitic beliefs.

Richard Koshimizu, who claims that no Jews were murdered during World War II, has announced plans to deliver a speech at Kyoto's Campus Plaza, which is run by the municipality, on June 9.

"Mr. Koshimizu's incendiary anti-Semitic views are well known, including outrageous propositions denying the Holocaust occurred and that Hitler himself worked for the Jews and to promote Jewish interests," said Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "It would be most unfortunate if Mr. Koshimizu's rantings would appear to have the imprimatur of the Kyoto municipality."

In a letter to the Hon. Masumoto Yorikane, Mayor of Kyoto, ADL urged the city to enforce the guidelines for the public's use of Campus Plaza, which includes restrictions on inflammatory speech or using the space for political purposes.  "Given Mr. Koshimizu's well-documented history of hate speech and extremism, we respectfully urge you to apply all applicable rules to prevent such a spectacle," wrote Mr. Lewy and Mr. Foxman.

Mr. Koshimizu is the founder of a political party named "Independence Party" and runs a Web site that promotes outrageous conspiracy theories about the Holocaust and claims that only 60,000 Jews died during World War II, mostly of disease.

ADL has also shared its concerns with Japanese diplomatic officials in the United States.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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2007 Anti-Defamation League