business

Japanese cosmetics maker apologizes over sign barring Chinese

49 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

49 Comments
Login to comment

Despicable, Japan! It's OK to hate your neighbors, but to publicly deny them and exclude them is just out of sense! I guess probably 90% or so, of Japan, has nothing against the chinese! The remaining 10% are affiliated with Nippon Kaigi (many members of LDP)! Who spreads negative sentiment about China, and this reaches out to many people because of Nippon Kaigis dominant position in the politics!

All this causes many Japanese people to get a biased view on their strong neighbor in the west! China have long respected Japan, and never tried to invade Japan either. It was Japan who turned down China's respect and wanted to exploit them. China has struggled hard since end of WW2 to recover from a devestating time in their history, where their beloved friend for so long (Japan) backstabbed them!

To still have a strong resentment against the Chinese is just utterly irresponsible and silly!

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

The sentiment is real. Fact. You can see the look of disdain from many shop keepers inundated with these new and generally unwanted customers. Clash of cultures perhaps? You’d think the extra business would be a good thing.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

There are plenty of signs like this, and if it’s a private business the government does nothing. Pola’s Worried about it’s overall reputation and how this would hurt sales, they’re not actually removing the sentiment.

10 ( +20 / -10 )

Strikebreaker555Today 07:10 am JSTDespicable, Japan! It's OK to hate your neighbors, but to publicly deny them and exclude them is just out of sense! I guess probably 90% or so, of Japan, has nothing against the chinese! The remaining 10% are affiliated with Nippon Kaigi (many members of LDP)! Who spreads negative sentiment about China, and this reaches out to many people because of Nippon Kaigis dominant position in the politics!

Nonsense. You think all Japanese people who don't think highly of China are right wing? Have you ever seen right wing in Japan demonstrating against China by smashing cars and restaurants? I haven't. But he whole world watched Chinese doing just that on TV not too long ago. Or have you forgotten?

9 ( +23 / -14 )

Considering the English language skills of both these nationalities, the sign was either in kanji (see the irony?) or a picture of the Chinese flag with a ‘NO’ or red circle struck diagonally. In any case it amounts to discrimination. Poor show, store manager.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

A rogue store manager? The company suspended the operation of the shop so sort of points that way..

The spending power of the Chinese tourist is too much to deny these days

1 ( +6 / -5 )

There's nothing to really argue about here. That sign was 100% racist. Not much different than the time a train conductor apologized to the Japanese passengers for all the foreigners on board. There is a racism that permeates throughout Japanese culture, ranging from extreme hard racism of nationalist bigots, to the softer

racism that the perpetrators don't even realize they are doing.

Conversely, many Chinese tourists don't behave with the best of manners. There are actually websites devoted to such behavior. It even takes place domestically inside China, such as at theme parks, airports, Great Wall, etc., not just in foreign countries. I see it in Japan and the US, and on the Internet.

To their credit, the Chinese government is trying to change that culture with posters, pamphlets, and education. But, it takes time.

However, that doesn't justify such blatant racism. If they have a problem with tourists behaving poorly, hire staff to maintain order and decorum in the store. Do not deny entire ethnic groups from entry. That's just wrong. Shocking, when you think about it.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Just think about it, thanks to China you have; Kanji...

You're not helping.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@OssanAmerica

Have you ever seen right wing in Japan demonstrating against China by smashing cars and restaurants? 

Not really relevant, since Japanese demonstrators haven't smashed anything for many years now, over any cause (although they used to). It's not because they're all so happy and content with the word, but because they dont want to get the XXX beaten out of them by an overwhelming number of riot cops and then a lengthy stay in jail where sleep deprivation is the norm. Japanese authorities come down hard on those who step out of line. I've been to "demonstrations" in Japan where there are about as many riot-geared cops as demonstrators, sitting around in fleets of huge gray buses waiting to pounce.

Anyway, if Japan had true journalism, the Kyodo reporter would have made some calls to find out the store's name and location and interviewed the person who put up the sign. Instead, the corporation is allowed to give its unchallenged version of events. Once again.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

It would be considered discrimination based on nationality, not racism. Chinese is a nationality and not a race in it of itself. They are Asian, just like Japanese and Koreans.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

garypen is the only one so far who has touched upon the reasons a store would go so far as to put up a sign like this.

On the other hand, there are better ways and means of getting your message across, if you are unable to deal with groups. In London for example, many shops have signs saying "No more than two school kids allowed in the shop at any one time". I have seen glass cabinets of precious objects with signs written in modern Chinese in shops in both Europe and Japan saying, "Please do not open without prior permission!".

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The only thing I can imagine from this article not described well is that some business trouble happened in China or something with Chinese customers ( as well as in internet shopping). Pola isn't the only one cosmetics maker in Japan, there are many and others didn't do similar things Pola did. This article is a business trouble not of any discrimination or racism. Actually, discrimination and racism aren't the same to state in this business article.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Strikebreaker555,

”Despicable, Japan!”

Get a grip. Pola has about 4,600 shops, and one of them had an inappropriate sign. The sign has been removed, the shop is being shut down, and Pola has apologized.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Rude, have no concept of queuing at cash register they just walk up to the front, barging other customers around, noisy, messy and trying to barter on price of everything. This is all I see when I am in a shop swarmed by Chinese, I just u-turn right out the door. Maybe the shop just had enough without much thought on how to deal with it.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

I was in Ginza last month and the area has changed for the worst. Chinese every where, rude, pushing, blocking foot paths speaking loudly while using speaker phone. Japan is not the same as it was..

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Rude thing to do, you cannot react to problems by a reaction like that.

A store has to be more mature than that and have better policies.

That being said Chinese tourists can be the “stand in front of escalator” types.

They don’t cue, they shout across rooms, will cut off anyone, 3 will take up the space usually reserved for 7...list goes on.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@Just a user - as a generalization I believe what you say is true (from my own personal experience). Does this make Chinese bad people? No - I think this just stems from the environment/over-crowding from which they come. Did the shop have enough? Quite possible but I think the sign was not appropriate and the store chain took the correct action.

As others have said people need to get a grip...1 out of over 4,000 stores? Geeze. I have been in Japan 2 decades and have seen a few of these signs but as a proportion of the total amount of businesses there are in Japan it is maybe 0.0001%. Of course Japan is not perfect but these types of signs are not "common" here.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Seems likes the offending store was in Aichi prefecture:

Photo:

http://news.ltn.com.tw/news/world/breakingnews/2264829

Although looking at the title of the news article (or even the name of the website), it doesn't seem to be that sympathetic to the Chinese tourists!

I wonder what would happen if the tourists all took their money elsewhere. Many of these tourists are loaded - they richer than most posters here. Yes, money may not buy class, but money also talks, especially when shops' businesses drop.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I am a Caucasian US citizen and have been denied entry into restaurants and bars by employees stating that no Gaijin are allowed. I was well dressed, sober and had cash to spend. I told my J wife that I now understand what it was like to be a person of color during the Jim Crow era in the USA before laws were changed. Sad.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

The company shot down the store, thus (hopefully) denying salaries and wages to the store managers and staff that allowed this to happen. They dealt with the problem and took corrective actions. I don't see why are people whining "Japan's so racist."

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Tokyo-Engr: Does this make Chinese bad people?

No I never said that, but I can certainly understand the shops frustration. It's their shop after all. Maybe they want their regular customers not not be put off and to return time after time. A few days of binge shopping by Chinese is probably less valuable to them.

I think this just stems from the environment/over-crowding from which they come. 

Japan was crowded too, very little of Chinese type behaviour here. Chinese constant bad behaviour should not be defended just as very few are defending the shops right to block what it must have considered a disruptive element.

as a generalization I believe what you say is true

I see very little variation of their behaviour, so it may classed as "generalising" yet, based on my own experience it seems like the norm to me.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

For anyone whining about the Chinese murking up everything, remember that without their infusion of cash into the economy, Japan will simply continue to slide downwards in the list for worlds biggest economies.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

The shop keeper must also hate money , seeing as how most Chinese love to come to Japan and spend it like it’s nothing!

I understand many of them are rude and impolite but to try and stop people from potentially spending money in your store is senseless.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This is certainly not the way to go about it but you can't argue with the bad behaviour you see from some, certainly not all, Chinese tourists. I have spent quite a long time in China, have good friends there and now have Chinese coworkers - one of whom says he cringes at what he sees from certain tourists. The Chinese government has recognized the need for improved manners from its citizens when traveling. I'm a Brit and we have a reputation for rowdy, pissed-up behaviour when on holiday. I don't behave like that but I've seen it first hand.

The point for me is you shouldn't ban a whole group of people based on the behaviour of some. Just a user says "I see very little variation of their behaviour". Am I the only one who thinks that maybe he/she doesn't even notice the Chinese tourists not making a racket? I speak a little Mandarin badly and have helped a few Chinese people in the shopping mall near my office. They were very charming and polite people.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I experienced no more or no less discrimination while in Japan as if I were in backyard USA. I encountered women who were scared of me. I encountered some who were curious and those that were good souls. I hope I didn't ruffle anyone while trying to fit into an environment so different than the one I live in. I understand where people before me my have given the individuals I encountered reason to question.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Jimizo: just a user says "I see very little variation of their behaviour". Am I the only one who thinks that maybe he/she doesn't even notice the Chinese tourists not making a racket?

You spent time there and want to defend it, fine. And yes I do notice and I see little difference. I lived in Singapore and worked with many. Some actually had some class, but compared to the other "nationalities" living there the Chinese were in a "rude" league of their own and everybody knew it. Those that I worked with were not ashamed of it.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

For anyone whining about the Chinese murking up everything, remember that without their infusion of cash into the economy, Japan will simply continue to slide downwards in the list for worlds biggest economies.

Diversify, diversify, diversify. Japan is and should continue to spread its wings as much as possible. China is a large market with a massive and growing middle class. But there are plenty of opportunities outside of China. Should be getting in on the ground floor with India, its obviously a very promising relationship and a massive market long term. ASEAN as a block has tremendous potential.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

You spent time there and want to defend it, fine.

Who's defending it? I clearly stated it's a fact. I've seen it. I've been pissed off by it. I'm disagreeing with your idea that there is little variation in the behaviour. I know Chinese people, work with Chinese people and have met and spoken to Chinese tourists in Japan. There is a huge variation in behaviour.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Who's defending it? I clearly stated it's a fact. I've seen it.

You are, and now you declaring it a "fact" that your observatons are the one true behaviour set. Well my observations are the opposite of yours and I don to agree with you. So just leave it at that.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The only places that would deny entrance to a caucasian foreigner who was well mannered, sober, and with obvious money to spend would be a sex establishment that was not serving foreigners.

I have been refused entry into a shot bar ( Tokyo ) and a ryokan ( Shimane ) in Japan. This was despite the fact I spoke good Japanese.

I'd add it's only a handful of times in nearly 20 years in Japan.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

We were denied entrance to a club off Kokusai Street years ago. I was sober and reasonably well-attired but the door took offence to me. Probably because when I queried the entrance fee and the guy said "$25 dollars" I cheekily replied "and what's that in real money?"

Anyway, an odd action by the store. Pola Inc need to take a closer look at the situation there to find out how this happened.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

 I'm disagreeing with your idea that there is little variation in the behaviour. I know Chinese people, work with Chinese people and have met and spoken to Chinese tourists in Japan. There is a huge variation in behaviour.

I agree. For example I’ve recently hired a chinese girl in our company. She’s 27, and just as conscientious as any Japanese person I’ve ever worked with. She’s not at all pushy in stores like I’ve seen tourists be.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

A local hotel near where I lived banned Chinese tour groups from staying there, due to them being noisy & leaving their rooms in a shocking state. They still accept private bookings though.

They also refuse bookings from groups of Japanese college students too, for exactly the same reason.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It is interesting to read people's stories about being refused entry to places. I am not saying this does not happen but I have never had this happen in 20 years and my clients are all over Japan so I am often staying in the inaka.

I did have one interesting experience around 15 years ago. We were working out towards Ome and there was one store with "No Foreigners" written in English on the door. A sub-contractor from the U.S. was helping me on a job and he decided he wanted to go in to "show them". We went in, we were served with no problems, we paid and left. I did not pay (he did) and told him I would not pay as my attitude was simply 99.9% of the places here have no problem serving me so why do I want to give my money to this shop.

As for Chinese people, they can take their money elsewhere and there are PLENTY of stores in Japan that will be more than happy to sell to them and in the end the ones that lose out are the fools that put up that sign.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Tokyo-Engr, I wouldn’t try my luck to any restaurant have a clear dislike towards certain groups of people which I happens to belong in. Yes, I might be served but who knows what “additional ingredients” might be added to your food, behind the scene.

By the way, was wondering what happened to the “Customer is King” slogans in the nineties?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I have been refused by a ryokan when making an appointment. The conversation didn't even reach nationality or skin colour. But most encounters have been very good, thank god. Never stayed at APA Hotels and I now make it a point never to, regardless of service.

The wife of an Indian colleague once wanted her palm read on the streets of Kawasaki. After having a conversation in Japanese, we just gave up - the old lady smiled and gave some BS about not wanting to serve her - probably Indian palms are different. If not that, then intestines, I suppose.

I tell ya, if I had a shop and Chinese money was flowing my way big league (or bigly?) , I'd put up with anything. There may be a day when business dries up, and your bank account will empty itself fast.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Freshmeat....hahaha...you are right...was not my idea to go in and I had beer and peanuts only. Anyway these places are so few and far between in Japan that one rarely comes across them. Most with these policies seem to be hostess clubs or shot bars, neither of which I patronize anyway...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Never been refused entry to any place here. I used to live next to our little Kabukicho and walked through it at nights, usually just before payday the ladies would invite me in.

Now the area has many foreigners who are really pushy and get in your face.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

All readers back on topic please. Posts that do not focus on the story will be removed.

Not many shops here can cater for Chinese so they just give up.

It is obvious what needs to be done but the Japanese won't do it (easily)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan will be hosting the Olympics in just over 2 years time.

Is this how Japan wants to portray itself?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Ex_Res,

”Japan will be hosting the Olympics in just over 2 years time. 

Is this how Japan wants to portray itself?”

Apparently not as Pola quickly shut down the shop in question and apologized. Not to mention that Pola is not “Japan.”

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Educator60

It is very heartening to see that Pola acted quickly and responsibly.

Indeed, Pola is not Japan. However, it only takes one incident in this day and age to go viral and everybody can easily get stereotyped.

Lets hope that there is no repeat, and an end comes to the posting of signs prohibiting entry to foriegn people.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

By banning Chinese, are they essentially banning Chinese from other parts of the world, Indonesian Chinese, Taiwanese, Malaysian Chinese, Singaporean Chinese, etc? Can they even recognise which Chinese their customers are from?

If they can afford to lose their business, am pretty sure the customers are more than willing to go somewhere else.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

OssanAmerica: “Have you ever seen right wing in Japan demonstrating against China by smashing cars and restaurants?”

Deflecting once again to defend the undefendable. You can’t even say the signs are wrong; you just instead shift to anti-Japan sentiment in China.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My understanding is that Pola runs its stores as independent contractors whom purchase product and receive sales and product training from the corporate reps in exchange for being Pola makeup locations / reps.

I suspect the corporate rep responsible for this location is facing some difficulty from their lack of control / oversight; but I'm uncertain if the store will face any significant punishment. Hopefully, this will lead to a larger sensitivity for the company as they move forward.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Seems that there are no Laws in Japan against blatant racism unlike other Countries.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What if it wasn't racism, really? What if the sign had said "Chinese people from HK, Singapore, Taiwan all welcome." Sometimes it's easy to use the racism tag, when the truth of the matter might be something else. Perhaps a simple distaste for the way a particular culture carries itself abroad. Even people from HK don't like this behaviour from mainland visitors, and they're both Chinese. If you're totally comfortable with someone's skin colour, but not really into obnoxious, loud, selfish behaviour, does that make you racist? No doubt, such a sign would be very poor form, but it's also time for these tourists to lift their game when they go into other countries and also show some respect - regardless of how much money they have.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think this particular franchise lost its license and went out of business immediately from what I have read.

One more aspect not mentioned so far is shoplifting. Now, I am not accusing anyone, but there is a strong fear among shopkeepers who do not know how to deal with it. Besides, I am sure there are shoplifters who deliberately look for and mingle with groups and crowds, as in Europe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites