Japanese officials say they will open an investigation into allegations that a large group of Japanese tourists hired hundreds of prostitutes at a five-star hotel in Zhuhai city in southern China last month.
Chief cabinet secretary Yasuo Fukuda told a news conference in Tokyo Tuesday the foreign ministry will investigate complaints by local Chinese authorities that more than 400 Japanese male tourists arranged the orgy.
China's foreign ministry called the case extremely odious. The incident sparked public anger in China as it coincided with the anniversary of an attack by Japanese forces on September 18, 1931, that China regards as the start of World War II occupation.
The Japanese media reported the tourists were in China as part of a trip arranged by a construction company based in Osaka. The company, whose name has been withheld, confirmed its employees stayed at the Zhuhai International Convention Center Hotel in September, but denied its involvement in the orgy.
Prostitution is illegal, but still rampant, in China.