TOKYO – Sony Music apologised on Wednesday for the Nazi-style uniforms worn by a Japanese pop band under its management in an MTV broadcast that triggered a protest from a US-based Jewish rights group.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles had voiced its “shock and dismay” at the appearance of the six-member J-Pop band Kishidan in SS-style uniforms with Nazi insignia such as the Iron Cross, death skull and eagle.
“We deeply regret and apologise for the distress it has caused Simon Wiesenthal Center and all concerned,” said the band’s management company, Sony Music Artists Inc, in a statement issued in Tokyo Wednesday.
“Members of Kishidan also deeply regret and apologise,” said the statement signed by chairman Kimikazu Harada and president Akira Takahashi.
The company said the February 23 MTV appearance in the uniforms “was not meant to carry any ideological meaning whatsoever” and vowed that “Kishidan will never again use this costume and it will be disposed of immediately”.
“We sincerely apologise for the insensitive action.”
The Japanese unit of MTV Networks said in a statement on Tuesday that it had taken the footage and related images off the air and off its website, adding that “we never intended to offend anyone”.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center had charged in its protest that “many young Japanese are woefully uneducated about the crimes against humanity committed during World War II” both by imperial Japan and Nazi Germany.
It said that “such garb like the uniform worn by Kishidan is never tolerated in the mainstream of any civilised country outside of Japan”.