Japan's Abe to visit Anne Frank house following vandalism

TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam this weekend, an official said on Thursday, after a man was arrested for vandalising copies of her diary in Tokyo libraries.

Abe is scheduled to call at her former hideout on Sunday on the sidelines of a nuclear-security summit and a Group of Seven meeting on the crisis in Ukraine, the foreign ministry official said.

"Prime Minister Abe is expected to convey a message about Japan's pledge not to fight a war again but to pursue peace," the official said.

Anne Frank, a German Jew born in Frankfurt in 1929, documented her family's experiences hiding in concealed rooms during the German occupation of the Netherlands where they settled in 1933.

They were caught and sent to Nazi concentration camps where Anne and her sister died of typhus in 1945.

Anne's "Diary of a Young Girl" was added to the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's Memory of the World Register in 2009.

The Anne Frank House is a dedicated museum open to the public.

Abe's visit is not directly linked to the recent vandalism in Japan, "but the prime minister is likely to express our feeling against it if he has a chance," the official added.

More than 300 copies of the diary, or publications containing biographies of Anne Frank, Nazi persecution of Jews and related material, had been torn at many public libraries in Japan.

Last week, Tokyo police arrested the 36-year-old man without supplying a motive for the crime or identifying the suspect, whom they said has admitted to the vandalism.

Japanese authorities often refrain from naming a suspect when there are questions over the individual's mental competence.

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