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Japanese Hitler outfit dropped

A Japanese discount chain has stopped selling a Nazi costume after complaints from a Jewish organisation.

The outfits at Don Quijote included a black jacket with a red swastika armband in a package adorned with a sketch resembling Adolf Hitler and the phrase "Heil Hitler" in Japanese characters.

The outfit was on sale for about 5,000 yen (£38) in at least two stores in Tokyo, including one in the upmarket Ginza shopping district.

Aico, a Japanese party goods maker, has made the costume for seven years and never had a complaint, said a spokesman.

"This was meant purely as a joke, as something that would easily be recognisable. If we have complaints we will certainly stop sales," he said. It was not clear if Aico would now stop making the costume.

Don Quijote said it would drop the product after receiving a letter from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a Jewish rights organisation.

The centre requested that sales at the store cease immediately, saying the swastika was a "symbol of hatred" and reminding the retailer that millions of Jews and other innocents were killed by the Nazis during the Second World War.

In one store, the Nazi costume was on display alongside dozens of others, including one that resembled pop star Michael Jackson, as well as nurse and ninja outfits.

An online search showed the costume was also available through small retailers hosted on shopping sites such as Amazon Japan.

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