Related topics

Nagasaki Officials Want Retraction of ‘Satanic Verses’ Dedication

February 8, 1990

TOKYO (AP) _ Nagasaki city officials today demanded the retraction of the Japanese- languag e version of ″The Satanic Verses,″ which they say was dedicated to Mayor Hitoshi Motoshima without his permission.

The dedication to the outspoken mayor, who was shot in the back last month by a right-wing terrorist, has ″caused us great trouble, and was done without our permission,″ a City Hall official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official said a complaint in Motoshima’s name had been sent to Gianna Palma, who is promoting the book in Japan. The Japanese edition will be published by Shinsensha.

The mayor, still in the hospital, first learned of the dedication when he received a phone call from the Iranian Embassy, the official said.

He said Palma had apologized, but added that the dedication already has been printed in the Japanese translations, which are to go on sale Saturday.

Palma could not immediately be reached for comment.

After Motoshima was shot Jan. 18, police said the rightist confessed to attacking the mayor because of remarks he made suggesting the late Emperor Hirohito bore some responsibility for World War II.

Motoshima faced death threats from rightists for more than a year after he suggested in December 1988 that Hirohito could have ended the war sooner and spared Nagasaki from the atomic bomb dropped by the United States on Aug. 9, 1945.

Hirohito died of cancer on Jan. 7, 1989.

The official said the dedication praised Motoshima for his courage in defending freedom of speech.

Moslems claim depictions of the prophet Mohammed and his wives in ″The Satanic Verses,″ written by British author Salman Rushdie, blaspheme their religion.

Rushdie went into hiding one year ago, after the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini called on him to recant or be killed by Moslems.

Update hourly