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Shop fearing Wuhan virus bans Chinese visitors in Hakone

30 Comments
By grape Japan

Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture is a town always bustling with tourists and one of the most popular day-trip destinations for travelers staying in the Tokyo area. Some visitors to Hakone will notice a candy shop and rest spot decorated with "Star Wars" imagery.

Unfortunately, the shop is now in the spotlight for a very different reason.

According to a report by Asahi News, the owner put out a sign on Friday, Jan 17, which explicitly bans Chinese nationals from entering its premises, citing the Wuhan virus outbreak. The sign says: "Chinese are banned from entering" and "I'd hate to have the virus scattered about (here)."

Explaining his actions, the owner said: "I want to take measures to defend my shop against the Wuhan virus, so I don't want Chinese nationals to enter." He apparently drafted the message, then used a machine translation app to write the sign in Mandarin. He may have intended to say "Chinese nationals" but the sign says "Ethnic Chinese" (中国人种). Moreover, the sign also urges visitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan to "not misunderstand."

As an additional reason for the ban, the owner said: "Ill-mannered Chinese nationals have caused havoc in my shop before." While it's unclear what "havoc" this refers to, it seems to be clear that the owner chose to ban an entire ethnicity rather than targeting specific behaviors and outlining rules of conduct in his shop.

With nine people already confirmed dead, one infection case in Japan, and as reported by CNN, confirmation that the new strain of coronavirus can be transmitted between humans, many Japanese are understandably concerned, especially at a time when an influx of Chinese tourists is expected for the lunar New Year. At the same time, banning all Chinese visitors outright is quite extreme.

After calls for an apology, the owner promised to change the sign, using less discriminatory language, but he did not back down from his ban on Chinese visitors.

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© grape Japan

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
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So the guy is using the Wuhan virus as an excuse to cover for his dislike of Chinese mainlanders....but aren’t they kind of his bread and butter?

11 ( +21 / -10 )

This is plain discrimination.

As if a virus checked someone's passport....

And police does not even Give him a call to order, or him for that behavior.

And the journalist does not even question about that.

Just unbelievable how blatantly wrong this is.

And I personally indeed don't give Chinese tourists much praises.

6 ( +18 / -12 )

the owner promised to change the sign, using less discriminatory language, but he did not back down from his ban on Chinese visitors.

To be fair, there's no logical reason to criticize him at this point. You can claim he's overreacting but it's impossible to properly gauge the risk when it comes to new pandemics. If half of us end up dead in six months, this guy won't look so silly. I'd also be curious to know his age since getting sick can be a death sentence for the elderly.

-2 ( +16 / -18 )

He is doing what the government won't.

1 ( +18 / -17 )

He may have intended to say "Chinese nationals" but the sign says "Ethnic Chinese" (中国人种). Moreover, the sign also urges visitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan to "not misunderstand....

....it seems to be clear that the owner chose to ban an entire ethnicity rather than targeting specific behaviors and outlining rules of conduct in his shop

Seems to be that the writer actually WANTS it to seem as if he was targeting an entire ethnicity when he was actually only targeting the prc communists and not Chinese from other countries.

You all think that shops in prc won't want to ban their own kind if they find out they're from Wuhan? They actually do....just that they're afraid that the violent and abusive CCP authorities would come down hard on them.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

This shopkeeper's reaction is not surprising considering the way this kind of epidemic is dealt with in the Japanese media. They seem to have a goal of terrifying people.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

And if a Japanese gets the virus will all Japanese be also banned. That's seems to be the logic.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Reminds me of when I worked at an English school when the swine flu was going around. One of the mothers called in to quit the school because she thought foreigners were the ones spreading it around.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

Unnecessary and hurtful and even insulting. Many Japanese businessmen visit China.

6 ( +18 / -12 )

He's just protect himself to become sick. I'd do the same

-8 ( +11 / -19 )

A kneejerk, bigoted response, but the Chinese govt plays the foreigner card regularly and without compunction.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

a bit late in just banning Chinese that could be carriers, could very well easily be anyone at this point.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Perhaps the wording was poor, but I seriously doubt it's a prejudice issue as Chinese tourists are a big source of income for many Japanese stores. Trying to avoid contagen by prohibiting entry may or may not be effective, but in princple the Chinese themselves are applying this method.

"Barring emergencies, residents of the 11-million-person city will be prohibited from leaving the city or using buses, subways or ferries."

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/weighs-declaring-coronavirus-international-public-health-emergency/story?id=68448746

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Bigotry and fear aside, highly doubt the effectiveness of his ban.

How is he going to tell if the person is Chinese or not? He's going to check passports?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Not all Chinese in Japan are born in China let alone visiting the city which is the source of the infection. Understandable that this Chinese New Year the residents of Wuhan are advised to stay at home and not travel. Once the New Year is over they will have to go out for work and to buy food.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

There aren’t any meaningful anti discrimination laws in Japan, so there ain’t nothing that can be done...

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Totally uncalled for and people like these really need to be careful of their actions. With the internet and social media these days, news like this can spread fast and have consequences far exceeding the original actions.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Is this discrimination based on national origin legal in Japan still?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Is this discrimination based on national origin legal in Japan still?

As the article noted, it said 中国人种 which means ethnically Chinese, not just PRC nationals. So even Chinese people born in Japan would be turned away in theory. It's also legal as far as I'm aware?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How is he going to tell if the person is Chinese or not?

Watch them.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Typical non-educated Japanese. He just heard something on the news and decided to ban all Chinese from his shop. I guess he missed the report about Japanese also contracting the disease.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Good thinking, although he should have invested a bit more in correct translation.

Especially with New Chinese Year coming , the influx of those tourists will be insane and every person have the right to protect themselves and their private business.

Just look at the news, Chinese , infected woman from Wuhan is braggin on making it to Paris while infected and eating out in public.

If the gov doesnt feel like the need to protect its citizens, its a citizen personal duty.

btw.. its is not by chance Wuhan is under full quarantine., its definitely more serious than what the news are telling.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Good move! His shop, he can do what he wants.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I hope he starts banning Japanese tourists because Japan has seen its first case already. Or do viruses get to pick and choose a person's ethnicity.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

A Japanese got the virus! Maybe the U.S. and other countries should ban Japanese people?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

How can he possibly tell who's Chinese? Their manners?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The shopkeeper has a nerve to be so outspoken. How can he vet the customers entering anyway. Though I understand the issue with mainlander Chinese and their behaviours!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How can he possibly tell who's Chinese? Their manners?

Its easy to identify people from certain countries by observing their behavior. so, yes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How can he possibly tell who's Chinese? Their manners?

Exactly

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How can he possibly tell who's Chinese? Their manners?

Exactly

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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