Pages torn from scores of copies of Anne Frank's diary in Tokyo libraries
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 1047 GMT (1847 HKT)
- Libraries in Tokyo report vandalism targeting copies of famous Holocaust account
- Local media say at least 265 copies of the book have been damaged since January
- Calling the situation "shameful," the Japanese government says police will investigate
- A U.S.-based Jewish group calls the vandalism a "hate campaign"
Tokyo (CNN) -- Scores of copies of Anne Frank's diary and other books covering the Holocaust held by public libraries across Tokyo have been vandalized, local government officials said Friday.
Pages have been torn out of at least 167 books -- most of them versions of "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" -- said authorities in the Suginami and Nakano wards of Tokyo.
Here's what Bieber wrote at Frank house
The diary, which has been read by millions of people around the world, is a Jewish girl's account of hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam during World War II.
Local media in Japan have reported that the recent spate of vandalism of the book in Tokyo is more widespread than the just Suginami and Nakano.
Damage to at least 265 copies of Anne Frank's diary has been discovered at 31 libraries since January, the Kyodo news agency reported.
The reports have stoked concern beyond Japan.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Los Angeles-based Jewish human rights organization, expressed "shock" at the news.
"The geographic scope of these incidents strongly suggest an organized 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," Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the center, said in a statement.
Anne and her family spent 25 months hiding in cramped quarters in Amsterdam, living in fear of discovery by the Nazis. They were betrayed, arrested and deported in August 1944. Anne died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp just weeks before it was liberated in 1945.
Cooper said the Simon Wiesenthal Center is "calling on Japanese authorities to step up efforts to identify and deal with the perpetrators of this hate campaign."
The Japanese government said Friday that the police will fully investigate the matter, according to Kyodo.
"We cannot accept it," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference. "It's extremely regrettable and shameful."
Authorities in Suginami ward said pages had been torn from at least 119 books about Anne Frank, including her diary, in 11 public libraries. The first case of damage in the ward was reported February 6.
In Nakano ward, authorities said 54 books from 5 libraries were found to have ripped pages. Most of the books are about Anne Frank, the ward said, but others are about the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Both wards said that so far they had been unable to identify the cause of the vandalism.
READ: Anne Frank's marbles to go on display in Rotterdam
READ: Justin Bieber hopes Anne Frank 'would have been a belieber'
CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki reported from Tokyo, and Jethro Mullen reported and wrote from Hong Kong.
Part of complete coverage on
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
ISIS has captured the minds of a new generation of global jihadists. What does it mean for al Qaeda?
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 0326 GMT (1126 HKT)
Think that U.S. President Barack Obama has done a back flip on Iraq and Syria? Think again.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 0338 GMT (1138 HKT)
Treated with all due respect, volcanoes can offer some stunning vistas. Just don't fall in.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 0522 GMT (1322 HKT)
The blogger, the hacker, the PM... and Kim Dotcom? New Zealand's election campaign erupts in scandal.
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 0236 GMT (1036 HKT)
In the aftermath of that deadly day, the enemy quickly became clear. But now a plurality of extremist threats tests global resolve.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Soviets put stray dogs into orbit. Then, next thing you know...
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 0928 GMT (1728 HKT)
Her name is Thokozile Matilda Masipa, and she is the woman who will rule whether Oscar Pistorius is a murderer.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 1448 GMT (2248 HKT)
As a 10-year-old, this boy first hit the headlines in 1982 when he saved his cat from a fire. This year, he was reported to be a suicide bomber.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1517 GMT (2317 HKT)
After months -- if not years -- of speculation, the tech giant's first foray into wearables has arrived. Here are our first impressions.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1241 GMT (2041 HKT)
Steven Sotloff's family believes ISIS paid rebels to alert the group about his location in Syria.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 0805 GMT (1605 HKT)
Bali might be a popular tourist destination but there are crowd-free corners worth exploring.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1120 GMT (1920 HKT)
Scots are preparing to vote on the future of their country. Will they decide to leave the UK?
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
Today's five most popular stories