A Nazi-themed Japanese bar has sparked fury with hosts dressed as SS guards and swastika-emblazoned champagne.
The ‘Unfair Club’ opened last Sunday in Osaka and used attractive young men as hosts to serve customers. They posed in German military uniforms that are replicas of those from WWII and had the symbol on their armbands.
Japan fought with the Germans in the war and bosses might have hoped the offensive ‘cosplay’ would be popular with its target customers – largely women who want to be served by male hosts.
However, people reacted angrily and charities branded the bar ‘disgusting’ and a ‘vile desecration of the memories of those killed in the holocaust’.
A spokesman for the Simon Wiesenthal Center said: ‘Japanese women are supposed to be attracted to men dressed up as SS Nazi murderers? This is a vile desecration of the memory of six million Jews, Anne Frank and victims of Nazi Holocaust. Where is Japanese outrage?’
The UK-based Campaign Against Antisemitism added: ‘This is disgusting’.
Miki Dezaki, who produced a film about the ‘comfort women’ abused by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army, said: ‘This is what the inside of the Nazi host club looks like. Ignorance and stupidity at its finest.’
The Unfair Club was also criticised by Japanese people.
Parent company Host X Host later apologised for its ‘lack of knowledge and awareness’ and shut down the bar on Tuesday.
They said in a statement: ‘We caused discomfort for a lot of people. We will take your comments seriously and will work to make sure this sort of thing never happens again.’
Japan and Germany formed an alliance in WWII but largely fought separate battles. The Far East Asian country only surrendered after the U.S. hit Hiroshima with an atomic bomb.
According to Business Insider, the ‘Japanese are fascinated by foreign cultures, but particularly so by German culture’ and the people share a close legacy of ‘how the subject of the war is broached’.