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Osaka train driver apologizes to Japanese passengers for ‘having many foreigners’ on board

191 Comments

An Osaka railway company is under fire after a train driver made an apologetic in-train announcement to Japanese passengers Monday morning for causing them “discomfort” due to the “number of foreign passengers on board.”

The announcement was made by a train driver on a limited Nankai Electric Railway airport express bound for Kansai International Airport at around 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Sankei Shimbun reported.

“We have many foreigners on board today. We apologize for causing you inconveniences,” the driver in his 40s said in Japanese.

The case surfaced after a Japanese female passenger, who was present at the time the announcement was made, inquired to a Nankai Electric Railway station staff member whether the announcement was in line with the company’s policy, shortly after she got off at Kansai Airport station.

According to Nankai Electric Railway representatives, the train driver told them he did not purposefully intend to make discriminatory comments, but made the announcement over concern of potential in-train trouble after he overheard a Japanese passenger saying he was “bothered because there were too many foreigners on board.”

The company apologized for the incident, saying that “it is incorrect to distinguish between passengers (based on nationality),” adding that they have verbally reprimanded the driver.

“Whether Japanese or foreign (nationals), the fact that they all are passengers doesn’t change,” company representatives said. “We will strive to prevent any similar occurrences in the future.”

© Japan Today

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191 Comments
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Unbelievable.

40 ( +51 / -11 )

Oh yeah, "us" and "them".

Wonder what kind of inconvenience it was. Noisy, bad smell, blocking seats .... would be interesting to find out.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

really Sense? I totally believe it.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

you can't win mate, lol

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Was eating sushi at Sushiro recently and we were seated in one of the first booths out from the kitchen. A bunch of super loud Chinese were seated across the conveyor and partition. They started reaching under the partition and grabbing plates as they went by us, and even the special ordered plates randomly.

I started stabbing at their hands with my ohashi and tthey finally got the message.

Chinese tourists can be extraordinarily loud and rude. I support the apology by the driver if they were as unruly as the pack of wild boars I see sometimes.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Well good on the Japanese woman for complaining! Also, this is in line with my observation that the old coots are intimidated and bothered by non-Japanese but many/most of the women are open-minded.

53 ( +56 / -3 )

What nationality were they - Japanese are pretty good to Western Tourists

0 ( +13 / -13 )

This is really disappointing. Japan is attracting tourist so I would think people (Japanese) should know by now that people around the world are visiting, not to mention that they also spend money it's not a free trip!

18 ( +18 / -0 )

The last few years I have been hearing LOTS of little bits here & there about Japanese commenting about "all the foreigners around"..........

And the mrs who works at a mall comes home with lots of stories, some pretty funny, some are rather tough to listen too. I tell her to enjoy the happenings because over time there will be less & less "interesting" stories happening.

There are more than a few locals who start to feel uncomfortable when there are a number of foreign types around & if they are outnumbered they start to feel a little awkward, perhaps even threatened, they should just learn to chill, most foreigners DONT BITE haha!!

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Should be non discriminatory for all but sometimes behavior on trains by foreigners can be unruly. Sometime ago a few US military guys were basically lying on the one set of seats, laughing & joking around. Drunk I assumed.

-3 ( +20 / -23 )

Some people have pretty thin skins, he is just saying out loud what a lot of people were thinking. After 3 decades of living here, becoming naturalized as well, crap like this still happens to me and mine.

Do I like it...hell no, I give credit to the Japanese woman for calling him out on it. If it were a foreigner that did it, odds are nothing would have happened. If more people like that woman would stand up, ignorant crap like this mike eventually come to an end.

Otherwise folks, dont let it get to ya' the sun is shining somewhere in the world and no need for this wanker to spoil your day! Just call it train-driver-terro!

Moderator: Please repost without the word "wanker."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

after he overheard a Japanese passenger saying he was “bothered because there were too many foreigners on board.”

The Japanese passenger should not bother to go to an 'International Airport', then.

“We will strive to prevent any similar occurrences in the future.”

YoUuve got a very long row to hoe.

27 ( +27 / -0 )

This news gives the Onion a runs for its money. I read that this morning and thought it was a joke at first. Ah well, the most I can say about this is that it is really unprofessional. I hear this kind of stuff all the time at places like Costco... but everyone is entitled to their racist opinions, just don't use a workplace platform to shout it out.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

It was a Monday morning so give the high school educated train driver an international break . I asked one of them where I could find a bucket of spots on the platform and the poor man spent 15 minutes searching,came back to me with apologies.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Kansai-style friendliness at work again.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Wow..not nice at all. What world is this 'well-educated' person from?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I took the same train about an hour later to the airport. I am a white dude. Sorry for your inconvenience, you dying breed of old Japanese ignorant morons.

By the way, high five to the woman who reported it. If I was on that train, I would have done the same.

15 ( +21 / -6 )

Why not ! when I am in train , no body would sit beside me ! I am not surprised at all . I will send this to my wife who never believed my story about no body would sit beside me while in train .

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Uh, yeah, a train that goes to and from a major international airport tends to have foreigners on it...

33 ( +34 / -1 )

o-mo-te-na-shi!

30 ( +32 / -2 )

Since I ride the airport express everyday on the Nankai Line, I'm quite shocked that they would make that comment as most of the staff are accommodating and helpful. The sad thing is that 95% of Japanese actually can relate and understand the phrase "Sorry, there's tons of foreigners!" There's a long way to go till intergration and being able to relate to others is a normal thing.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Too many foreigners on a train going to an international airport, oh the horror. Pathetic.

34 ( +35 / -1 )

This is the country we chose to live....where we have to prove we can do trivial things or simply "talk" on a daily basis... now with a family here it would be a little hard for me to leave this place for good and only coming back for sightseeing, the only "status" the japanese are comfort with (when you go home? - after almost a decade here). I would swap this gaijin card for a permanent visa to one of those top 10 safest cities in America right away if I could. What makes americans and other privileged citizens to abandon their multicultural countries to be treated like this? If you're a japanophile, martial arts passionate or something ok, but if not why? There are only 2 classes of citizens in this place.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

he was “bothered because there were too many foreigners on board.”

Tokyo Olympics 2020 here we come.... this is pathetic on all fronts.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

I'm curious, did he say 'gaijin' or 'gaikokujin'?

Anyway, another shout out to the Japanese lady who questioned this.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

He said: 本日は多数の外国人のお客さまが乗車されており、大変混雑しておりますので、日本人のお客さまにはご不便をおかけしております

This is pretty shocking. In all the times I've been to Japan I've never encountered racism, and I've never experienced the refusal to sit next to me that others seem to have. I'm an overweight bald white guy, not easy to miss, but maybe I'm lucky.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

Ah, Japan's xenophobia and racial prejudice shines through again! Unless the train was full of Ainu people, they are all foreigners!

27 ( +28 / -1 )

He was just trying to say that there were a lot of tourists on their way to the airport and the train was therefore busy. Too many sensitive souls nowadays. Back in 2000 taxi drivers wouldnt even stop for me.

-17 ( +12 / -29 )

He was just trying to say that there were a lot of tourists on their way to the airport and the train was therefore busy.

Then he should have just said that the train was crowded.

26 ( +26 / -0 )

"...but made the announcement over concern of potential in-train trouble after he overheard a Japanese passenger saying he was “bothered because there were too many foreigners on board.”"

Well, then, he should be apologising to the foreigners on board for the rude Japanese, not vice-versa -- especially given it was a train going to the INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. And whether he was 'not intending to be discriminatory' or not is part of the problem -- he didn't see it as anything but normal, even courteous. And so far it doesn't sound like the company is doing anything by way of reprimanding the person who made the announcement, nor does it sound like they are very apologetic for the discrimination at all.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

The guy actually thought he was doing a "good" thing by apologizing. Little did he realize that is was crude and racist. This is not longer the Japan we knew in the 70's and 80's. It has changed... many Japanese themselves have become foreigners in their own country and those numbers are growing daily.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Monday mornings...hangovers and Tuesdays blues

"due to the “number of foreign passengers on board.”

"why cant we all just get along" "all lives matter"

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The problem is not the train driver announcement! The problem is there were bothered passengers and the announcement had to be at least in 4 languages to remind ALL on-board to keep their voice down and be well mannered.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

Maybe he didn't think making a distinction between locals and foreigners is such a big deal, but then perception is reality, even if you didn't mean it that way. Like Cleo said, he should have just apologized for the train being crowded. Period.

Or worse, he knew it may be inappropriate, but had the mistaken notion that since he said it in Japanese, no foreigner would understand him anyway.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Get over it everyone. Civilians in Aleppo are being bombed by the Russians. Refugee children are going missing in Calais. So what if some old train driver apologised for too many foreigners on the train. In Japanese.

Try working in a Japanese corporation like I do. There is nothing physical about it. And if it upsets you so much, dont live here in the first place.

It was far worse 15 years ago. Its their country and the Japanese are far more friendly and non-violent than say the Koreans. Stop being so sensitive.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thunderbird2 wrote: "I've never experienced the refusal to sit next to me that others seem to have." ... ... I rather enjoyed having people not sit next to me until all other seats were taken. That's been changing... drat. Should I direct them to other vacant seats? This would make a great comedy sketch. ... ... Seriously ... okay, not so seriously ... Perhaps the driver should have prefaced the announcement with a trigger warning for the benefit of gaijin who understand spoken Japanese. ... ... Seriously or perhaps serially, some people DO speak very loudly on trains. All kinds of foreigners do, but some Japanese do too. That I don't mind as much because I might pick up a little Nihon-go by eavesdropping. I'm looking forward to the time when I understand enough to break in and join their conversation though they might not get the joke.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'd like to buy they lady a drink for actually questioning this ignorant racism rather than shrugging shoulders and saying shoganai as the others would do. You go girl.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Ia this called Racism? or so called Cultural Shock in a decent term?

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

I see many here assume this is about all foreigners, but based upon my own international travels including in Japan, I think this is about a particular group of travelers from a particular country who are notoriously rude, loud, and boisterous.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

Hmm....How dare the driver generalized the foreigners? He should have split by nationality. Certain of them are much politer than the others.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Get over it everyone. So what if some old train driver apologised for too many foreigners on the train. In Japanese.

There is nothing physical about it. And if it upsets you so much, dont live here or travel here in the first place.

It was far worse in Japan 15 years ago. Its their country and the Japanese are far more friendly and non-violent than say the Koreans. A huge difference there. Stop being so sensitive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"On behalf of Nankai Electric Railway, we wish to apologize to all of our Japanese passengers for the number of foreigners on board today. At this time, we would like to ask all of our foreign passengers to please move to the back of the train. Thank you and have a nice day."

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Actually, normally I am a defender of Japan and think that some foreigners are too hypersensitive about such issues, however in this case I think this deserves condemnation.

To the old Japanese man (most likely a Showa era, self important, arrogant type) - why the heck are you going to an international airport if you do not want to be around foreigners?! And obviously, similar to other comments...who with an ounce of intelligence or common sense would make such an announcement on a train going to an international airport?!

Some of the comments indicate younger Japanese, especially women, seem to be more comfortable around foreigners; yes, this is true.

This is one issue Japan has (and I am one that enjoys living and working in Japan) - this type of attitude relative to foreigners (whether discomfort or outright racism) may have worked OK for Japan during the Showa manufacturing era however now that Japan needs to re-adjust of the new realities of the global economy this attitude does not cut it!

Not only should foreigners be pissed at this but younger Japanese should as well as it is counter productive.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I wonder how the driver, in his cab I assume, actually overheard the Japanese passenger who made the alleged comment?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

外国人が多くて邪魔 is far worse than "Pakis" or the N-word or Gringo. What will happen to this country!!

For those who didn't understand it....Sarcasm intended.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

So, this year Japan is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a global PR onslaught to persuade the world that "We're not like that anymore". And then stories like this one instantly destroy all that hard work.

Instead of wasting money on propaganda why not actually spend some on educating workers on how to deal with foreign guests in the 21st. century? I guess that's too difficult though....

And for those who think it's just a minority you can read all the racist comments on Yahoo News here. There are thousands upon thousands of them....

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/cm/main?d=20161010-00000543-san-soci

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I have found the Japanese much more open about their feelings recently. I had one Japanese student say slightly apologetically in a class of international students. "We Japanese feel we are superior to foreigners" to agreement from the other Japanese. Another student said in a discussion about immigration, "Japanese just don't like foreigners" I have been here thirty years and it is the first time I have heard Japanese students express their opinions so openly. It has always been true but it just wasn't openly expressed.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Ah, just put on a few gaijin-only carriages on lines like this. Throw up a few signs in those carriages advertising a sushi restaurant serving generous helpings of wasabi to gaijin and everyone's a winner.

This omotenashi sentiment doesn't seem to be cutting it.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Oh come on now, don't just all of us Japanese by the action of one over-stressed driver."

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Damned right too! I mean foreigners have got their own countries, haven't they?

Why don't they live in them?

:)

2 ( +6 / -4 )

HaileG: "It has always been true but it just wasn't openly expressed."

Well, nationalism is becoming more acceptable under Abe as part of his 'beautiful Japan' campaign, and the fact that this clown on the Nankai Railway train thought it was perfectly acceptable to announce what he did, and the kids you mentioned say out loud what they said, the way they said it, is proof. They don't even realise what a problem it is -- until it's flipped back on them and they're embarrassed. They NEED foreign investment, imports, and a foreign presence to survive, LITERALLY, and yet they act like they don't. Some get extremely offended if you point out that their ancestors, perhaps even very recent, all come from China and Korea -- even the Emperor's descendants. They beg foreigners their opinions on Japan, until it's negative and they say they don't need it (because they have all sorts of variety shows praising themselves and choosing only people who are amazed by/love Japan to interview or appear on).

My only real surprise in all this is that a young woman was brave enough to come forward and ask about the announcement, and I thank her for it. I know a lot of people who enjoy travelling and living/working overseas, as well as international and school exchanges, and I know that if they heard comments about Japanese people or others were apologised to because a big bus of Japanese tourists pulled up they would be rightfully upset. Sadly, a lot of the people with the superiority (and also inferiority) complex have never travelled but feel justified in declaring Japan the best place in the world, and their people and products the best, and that all travellers and permanent residents likewise are just 'guests' who "of course wanted to come to Japan!". These people are proud of any positive opinion and/or if you nationalise and they pat themselves on the back, they're just not proud to have you, guest or otherwise.

You'd think things would change for the better, but in many cases they are not, as evidenced by this and many comments on this and other threads. Fortunately not all think this way.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Do we know if there was a group of foreigners being unruly, creating a disturbance or being troublesome to other passengers?

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

get them gaijin in, give them a lovely smile , hello and bow. grab their cash! , then kick them the frack out! "goodbye, please come again"

9 ( +9 / -0 )

First off, I'm surprised anyone can understand a train or bus driver's announcement. They always talk like they inhaled the mic.

Second off, I don't think you need to warn the Japanese there are foreigners on a train. A foreigner on train, in a supermarket, in an elevator, is the first thing they notice and stare at.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I've seen groups of foreign tourists block people at the door from getting on or off by being oblivious to everything. I've moved to other cars to get away from loud and annoying groups of tourists. Maybe there were other circumstances in this story.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

That driver needs a surprise extra dollop of wasabi on his kaiten-zushi.

Kudos to the women who stood up for us. Whoever you are, thank you.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

First of all, well done to the Japanese national who remarked on the announcement. Japan belatedly, like so many other countries have done in the past 50 years, is going through the 'acceptance' pains of finding themselves awash with non-natives who act, speak, and look different. My parents generation in Britain had the same problems in the 1960's with non-white visitors let alone residents. Much of mainstream conservative USA STILL has issues with non-white residents and visitors after TWO HUNDRED years. This incident is not 'unbelievable' at all, as one comment stated. It is part of the so-called 'globalization' process..

3 ( +7 / -4 )

he overheard a Japanese passenger saying he was “bothered because there were too many foreigners on board.

Given that he was on a train to the airport, what did this idiot expect? Did he then fly to another country and complain that there were too many foreigners there?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

After 16 years here, I just can't muster the kind of outrage you read in some of these posts when things like this happen. I don't think I've ever had that level of outrage. The only way I can deal with this kind of thing is with gallows humour.

This is Japan, folks. It's got it's good points but this kind of thing isn't going anywhere soon. If anything, the increase in tourism is going to see these kinds of incidents increase in frequency.

Not worth getting an ulcer over.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

At which point did the driver make the distinction that quality of a journey experience for all passengers can become a inconvenience, distinguished by the presence of a significant number of foreigners? ... . Certainly not in reference to a single Japanese passenger saying he was “bothered because there were too many foreigners on board.”

After all before boarding the train all customers are paying for a service irrespective of the discriminatory comments of a single passenger.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Should be fine by 2020,lighten up folks!!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Sometime ago a few US military guys were basically lying on the one set of seats, laughing & joking around. Drunk I assumed. LOL and drunk Japanese dont misbehave, i saw a drunk salarymen get off the train and piss directly of the side of the platform while everybody was watching!. I approached him and said there was a toilet only 10m away ( in Japanese) he looked at me with a bewildered smile. I then watched him walk to his car and proceed to get in to drive away. By sheer luck there was a Koban right next to the station and a police officer in it! My wife who was with me at the time explained to the cop that a drunk guy just got in his car to drive home, we pointed to the car about 200m away and the police ran off in pursuit, never saw if the cop caught him but if he did Karmas a bitch.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

How did they know the nationality of every single passenger? Of course they didn't. They were discriminating based on apparent race, not nationality.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Thank you, unidentified female passenger! And the train company for not backing up the driver.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I have found the Japanese much more open about their feelings recently. I had one Japanese student say slightly apologetically in a class of international students. "We Japanese feel we are superior to foreigners"

Hi Haile, actually I actually feel it's pretty much the opposite. In almost a decade living in this place I only got a handful of japaneses that expressed their true feelings, indeed you don't even have to hear the reality from them, just look at their products and everything western they try to copy, from architecture to eyelashes. The japanese are truly disturbed and gotta have the greatest inferiority complex of all time!! The reason some japanese shun foreigners? Because they are too "kakkoii" so you feel embarassed or even nervous - according to a friend. What's the reason many japanese all sudden start staring the floor, the sky, the wall, any opposite direction whenever they see you coming their way? Sometimes it can be funny how hard they try to feign they "didn't see" the handsome foreigner. Like somebody driving a Lada doing his best to not be caught watching the Ferrari just passing by. Some turn their back on you when they see you standing next to them in the train. Never wondered why? Oh and the infamous "goukon" or any given drinking party.... all the japaneses having a good time until some of their friend comes with a foreigner..... the smile vanishing from some "cool" guy's faces are simply priceless! They have all the confidence of this world... until a handsome foreigner shows up!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Maybe I shouldn't say it but... it's kind of entertaining to watch the Japanese get their undergarments in a twist by the sudden hordes of foreign tourists here.

Compared to say 30 years ago, the shoe really is on the other foot.

Hope we get lots more stories like this.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

oh do calm down you lot, racist this racist that. Seems obvious to me that this was simply a tactless comment - nothing more. All get back in your prams now

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Thunderbird

You have a valid point about the looks thing. I'd extend that to an inferiority complex about physical prowess. However, in terms of things like manners, behaviour, 'unique' sensitivities and tastes, there is a very widespread sense of superiority.

My old boss told me this in the izakaya after growling "Nama, futatsu" at the staff, lighting up a ciggie and rubbing between his toes.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Lol... 6 thumbs down for not having a racist experience in Japan, not just on a train. Anyway, I'm wondering if the driver's message was expressing his own feelings, or was he trying to placate the few who complained? I know that you get the odd oyaji who will try to force things like some retired gangster, threatening to cause trouble.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The Driver has a responsibility for the customer experience of all t his passengers.

First and foremost not to be subjected to discriminatory procrastination's of a Mr Grumpy. This person should have been identified and removed.

Unless this form of arbitrary intolerance is confronted and challenged it festers into prejudice. I have witnessed this sort of behavior on the tube in London.

Shame them, if one cannot find a seat, put up, shut up or just wait for the next service.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am moved to apologize to Japanese for taking up space in their crowded country. And also breathing their air. Domo taihen moshiwake gozaimasen deshita.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The announcement was certainly very unfortunate, but the issue is not that simple. Generally speaking, people are expected to be quieter and more considerate on trains than I've experienced outside of Japan as a social norm and also simply because there are often extremely crowded. Of course, that does not excuse the announcement (and most Japanese realize that).

Although most foreign visitors are considerate, when they are loud, they are often very loud, especially a certain breed of Americans. (Apologies to all other Americans, but I'd have to admit that once upon a time I was probably one of the loud ones.) So it's a two-way street. The smart (considerate) thing to do is to study the basic social norms of any country before you visit so that you can allow for them the best you can.

Let's hope that the train drivers have learned their lesson, and that the rest of us all do our homework before traveling abroad.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

First they give foreigners too much wasabi at a sushi bar now this! Might as well cancel the olympics! Can't have all those FOREIGNERS running around ruining Japan:-()

1 ( +1 / -0 )

i never heard such meme in tokyo metro. i thought thats because of difference in genre at two places in japan. i think metro will operate separate train during olympic game.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is a single crotchety throwing a strop. Billowing like a big girls blouse, kudos to the Lady. This nonsense is easily remedied. Politely remove the cantankerous so-and-so from harm's way

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wouldn't wanna ride a train that people like me are allowed to ride on either.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I've been on that train. The last stop in an international airport. What do they honestly expect. You can't get on a train leading to one of the largest international airports in Japan and be shocked that it's full of non-Japanese people.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

****Dont these idiots realise there are so many Japanese people who live abroad. Today Mr Abe is running around to different countries signing business deals because the local consumption is declining so Japan has to open up its factories in other countries to survive. People need to be educated.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

All blown totally out of proportion

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Xenophobic fool.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If really sorry why don't pay all the offended people back? Oh yes, the tickets were the same

3 ( +3 / -0 )

after he overheard a Japanese passenger saying he was “bothered because there were too many foreigners on board.”

Actually I remembered back before smart phones when trains in Osaka were lively with all sorts of people chatting and laughing. Now everyone is glued to their smart phones and old people are getting crankier about the slightest sound. An old guy told me this past summer while on the train that this is Japan and it is important to be quiet in public to respect others.

Nankai and Hanwa Lines both get a lot of tourist groups from especially China and Korea and naturally they love chatting with each other like any tourist entering a foreign country. I hope that word gets put out to tourist companies abroad for their travelers to boycott Nankai and take JR Hanwa Line instead. Both lines go to Osaka City.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Dan R K Sparkman I've never see anything like that in 10 years, though I have seen drunken salaryman passing out, passed out, and falling down. I hear people complain about Chinese tourists. However, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Japan keeps announcing big bumps in tourism and big efforts to keep bumping it up. If Japan is unwilling to change enough to keep its population up, it will need more tourism and that people gradually accept a lower standard of living.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

But since there are to any laws governing racism in Japan, then the Japanese can be as discriminatory as they wish without any fear......

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One of the reasons I left Japan for good.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I posted this all over facebook, you tube, twitter and the Olympic committee as how Japan really treats foreigners. I also had any future travel arrangements for both Japanese locals and foreigners cancel Nankai Electric Railway contracts and travel plans to use this mode of transportation. This was just rude and a verbal is nothing shy of a weak handshake. Money talks in Japan. From now on any foreigner should just cancel NER and take another mode of transportation. Why isn't the Central Government enforcing the "hate crime" as that is what has been committed and now in print. This comment by the company staff who represent NER are clearly in violation of the then law. Where is justice in Japan.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Just ticking off a driver does not help anybody, discrimination is in every country ,not only Japan. We must encourage all human beings to have a open heart and a open mind. t happens in France as they speak only French, it happens in Italy as they cannot make a difference between Japanese or Chinese. In America Trump is saying the same things . We must open the mind to a non black/white/yellow or....................... discrimination world. Have u all started ???.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The English translation does not really convey all the nuances of what the driver said. 本日は多数の外国人のお客さまが乗車されており、大変混雑しておりますので、日本人のお客さまにはご不便をおかけしております. We have a lot of international guests/customers on our train today and it is extremely crowded, so I am afraid I must ask our Japanese guests/customers to be patient.

Included in that you can sense his worry about what the irate Japanese passenger(s) might do if not appeased. He was attempting to avoid an 'international' incident where the foreign guests (polite language) might have an unpleasant experience because of a grumpy Japanese customer. The message was not really addressed to everyone, and not really apologizing, but by making the motions of apologizing to all, he was trying to take the steam out of a potential situation.

I am guessing that there are two awkward customers here making life difficult for the Japanese staff, ie the first man who was complaining about non-Japanese (in what manner is not reported) and the lady who complained about the driver's way of using an appeal to all when in fact he was conscious of one disgruntled passenger. The story seems to have inner Japanese tensions in it, with the foreign passengers merely on the periphery.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I do understand about some passengers’ complaint about many foreigners on the train. Some foreigners have very bad body odor and used strange smell perfume. I have bad experienced on Saikyo Line and I was nearly collapsed by bad body odour and strange smell perfume from other passenger. I have to get off from the train. I have short breathing problem and very sensitive on any kind of smells. I can't use any kind of perfumes. That kind of problem was not just in Japan and I have read news about some passengers have complaint about bad body odour and used of strange smell perfume on train. Even social workers have taught some peoples to shower everyday and use ordinary perfume in Australia. I believe the train driver was not discrimination against any foreigners but it was rude and offence to some peoples. For Japanese standard, it was okay to apology for inconvenience.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

qwertyjapan: "I've seen groups of foreign tourists block people at the door from getting on or off by being oblivious to everything."

I see high school students and businessmen do that all the time. I also see old women do it and push to get off or on the train before others have. In fact, I often see foreigners behave a LOT better than the locals because they are trying to be wary of the rules. That isn't to say there aren't rude ones -- there are -- the point is that you're generalising when it is an exception, and it happens a lot here with non-foreigners too.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Well, wouldn't it be normal to have many gaiji on a train heading to Kansai "INTERNATIONAL" airport?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Foreigners are a terrible inconvenience, unless they want to spend money, then they are tolerated. I wonder where those complaining about 'too many foreigners' were going after arriving at KIX?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Oh come on now, don't just all of us Japanese by the action of one over-stressed driver."

Do you actually believe this is an isolated incident? Have you not seen the many bars that won't allow foreigners? Have you not sat on the train with only available seat next to you, even though there are many people standing? Have you not heard the many 'anti-gaijin' comments made by Japanese people in your daily commute or in a bar? If you want to know how racist Japan is just ask someone how they feel about Chinese people. The answer will always be the same, "I hate Chinese people!" Then, ask them why they hate them and they will stare at you with a blank look on their faces. I always ask them, "How many of the 1.3 billion Chinese do you know?"

2 ( +3 / -1 )

nandakandamandaOCT. 11, 2016 - 10:01PM JST The English translation does not really convey all the nuances of what the driver said. 本日は多数の外国人のお客さまが乗車されており、大変混雑しておりますので、日本人のお客さまにはご不便をおかけしております. We have a lot of international guests/customers on our train today and it is extremely crowded, so I am afraid I must ask our Japanese guests/customers to be patient

So, the conductor was actually trying to be considerate to foreign guests?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The English translation does not really convey all the nuances of what the driver said. 本日は多数の外国人のお客さま>が乗車されており、大変混雑しておりますので、日本人のお客さまにはご不便をおかけしております. We have a lot >of international guests/customers on our train today and it is extremely crowded, so I am afraid I must ask our >Japanese guests/customers to be patient.

No, sorry, 不便をおかけしております is not be patient but "sorry to cause you inconvenience" I would like to know how this driver categorizes Gaikokujin? Can he recognize Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese or just picking up non Asian looking people? I fear the latter....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My split second reaction reading reading this on Yahoo Japan: Japan Today might very well have the most-commented on article to ever appear.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Was his last name Trump ? Just asking.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My God, what a bunch of precious snowflakes populate this site.

Firstly, even if this was a racist comment - which premise I do not accept - to take an isolated instance and suggest that this is evidence of anti-foreigner sentiment generally is to be absurdly hyper-sensitive.

Rather, I would take the driver's statement at face value, in that he was merely explaining, factually, that the reason the train was so crowded was because of the large number of international travellers (presumably on their way to the airport).

While I admit I do not live in Japan, whenever I have visited I have only experienced friendliness and kindness, with Japanese going (literally) out of their way to help me.

The expression 'making a mountain out of a molehill' could have been invented especially for the reactions so many of you seem to indulge in whenever you feel in any way slighted. Perhaps a slightly thicker skin and a less touchy attitude might be in order.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

I do t really care about what one train conductor said. But I care about the thousands of racist and xenophobic comments made by Japanese on Yahoo News... That's the part that reveals the truth and pulse of the society and hpe racist it is. They should bad tourism if they font like tourists, they should also revoke all visas and foreigners should do the same yo Japanese living abroad, and let's see how long the country can survive.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

This is already a huge story on news websites overseas.

Literally millions of people around the world have clicked on a similar headline to read a version of the story.

This should be a huge wakeup call, not something swept under the carpet or laughed off.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Look there are daft people from Japan and other countries who will behave badly on trains. Just think of how many drunks there are on most trains in Japan, the vast majority of them Japanese.

Racism and xenophobia hurt Japan and Japanese more than it hurts foreigners who can just stop coming here if it gets bad. It is bad for business and it is pathetic and sad.

We live in a globalised world, like that fact or not folks, it is realty. We will all be sharing this world with people from all over, some of whom may make us uncomfortable. But in the end, we will adapt and some of us, who already do so, will be able to share with those of you who don't yet, the great and amazing things that sharing our lives with diverse people is great.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It seems that the train driver has probably not seen so many foreigners on the board, so the announcement was just made by such a countryman. He/she seems to have neither offense nor racism.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

mammola: "I would like to know how this driver categorizes Gaikokujin? Can he recognize Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese or just picking up non Asian looking people? I fear the latter...."

He probably thinks, as many Japanese here and Japanese-wannabes do, that they can recognise the differences between nationality just by face alone -- and MANY think that, until they are called "Chinese" when they go overseas (then they feel insulted for some reason). You simply canNOT tell the difference based on face or body alone; style? sometimes (although less and less as Japan and SK in particular copy each other, and the recent trend among young women is to copy K-pop styles more so than vice-versa, I've noticed). Language, yes and no (my wife and I use Japanese in South Korea, mostly, and people suddenly realise she's Korean when she speaks to them in her native tongue). If you encounter a group of people on a train speaking one foreign language while toting bags and suitcases and heading to the airport, it's pretty fair to assume they are from the country with that as its native language, but even if you heard Chinese, for example, are they Chinese? Taiwanese? first generation Americans? British from Hong Kong (Cantonese, likely), and even then people won't recognise the dialect or language difference in most cases. Behaviour? no, though again some people like to think they behave well and 'other country people' do not. Face -- absolutely not.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"This is already a huge story on news websites overseas."

You're not wrong. My elder brother in the UK saw this in The Guardian and sent me a text.

He still checks out any news from Japan after all these years. A nice feeling for me after reading this unpleasant crap.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ Andrew Crisp it doesn't matter what nationality they were or what country the tourist came from discrimination is discrimination What nationality were they - Japanese are pretty good to Western Tourists

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Seems like that's how it is in Japan. Too bad.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Today on 'Casual Racism Japan'. What an idiotic announcement. Japanese salarymen cannot put their brain to work after decades of slaving away mindlessly, eh?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Complete rubbish.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the irony is amazing. you have on one side, a country highly dependant on the outside word for natural resources, ideas, and just about everything else, but at the same time they don't want to give the same liberties and freedoms to those outsiders who live there. especially the ones who tend to...rock the boat due to certain outstanding differences.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I wonder if the person who originally stated that there were a lot of foreigners aboard was making a negative statement or just stating a fact.

As a foreigner myself, I catch myself saying the exact same thing when I go to Costco, but I'm not saying it with any emotion (negative or positive). I just notice.

Kind of the same tone as stating the weather.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

That train is now on my blacklist as well as Fukuoka's countryside.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Would be interesting to see what the reaction would be if a Tokyo train driver apologized for all the people from Kansai on a Tokyo train. Probably start a civil war. The train driver was conpletely out of order. Foreignors should make more effort to understand Japanese norms when it comes to good manners. But Japanese really do look down on some foreignors, especially mainland Chinese. You rarely hear any Japanese person say something good about someone from mainland China. But the long and short of it is.... If they want the Olympics and tourism and all the money that comes with it, put up or shut up.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

According to my Japanese husband, The Mainichi Shimbun reported that the driver overheard a man on the platform shout out that, "all these foreigners are a nuisance". Based on my daily observations on the train, it is Japanese middle aged and older passangers who are a nuisance and not foreigners. I don't see foreigners barging into a train before passangers have had a chance to get off. Respect to the woman for taking this up with station staff. This news has been reported in several western news outlets today. The driver should be punished and not just receive a verbal warning. I urge people to send e-mail links of this foreign news to the customer service and enquiries division of the train company to shame them into making sure such moronic members of their staff do not make similar utterances in future.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

“it is incorrect to distinguish between passengers (based on nationality),” adding that they have verbally reprimanded the driver.

Not doubting the company's sincerity at all but I see what they did here. Take note of the word "distinguish" (kubetsu in the Japanese - look at the yahoo article). How many Japanese speakers here have heard the phrase "sabetsu ja nakute kubetsu da"? Or "sabetsu to kubetsu wo goccha ni shiteiru"?

(it's not discrimination [which is bad], it's "distinguishing" [which is not bad and very practical]) (OR You're mixing the two up)

I have heard this phrase many times and it seems to be quite a popular one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is bewildering that in this day and age and in an advanced open country that is Japan that someone could be so insensitive.

For those of you who pointed out that foreigners can be bad or specifically US military etc you are just as bad as the person who made the announcement. There are many polite and respectful foreigners and military folks as well.

It isn't uncommon to see non-foreign people drunk on laying on streets and on trains so it isn't a "Foreign problem". Japan has come a long way but still has a long way to catch up with some parts of the world.

Every country has their own issues. One thing that would help is if there were anti discrimination laws with real teeth.

Back to the original topic of the announcement, it was offensive so he received a verbal warning. He should have to attend a sensitivity course. Hopefully he is ashamed and will think more about all of his passengers.

The person who made the enquiry was a Japanese female. There are plenty of cultured, sensitive Japanese too so maybe a time will come when the general population will start to speak up when they see discrimination.

If hundreds or thousands of Japanese enquired about a sign that says Japanese only, or protested when they saw discrimination things would change.

The fact that it made the news is encouraging!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Lol, Japan

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Well done to the Japanese lady who raised a concern over this. Still, wrong though this is, I suspect/hope it's a case of naive racism rather than the deep rooted fascist kind. Send the driver on some kind of awareness course rather than firing him, and or send him off to learn English or Chinese language.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The speech was polite instead of mentioning Foreigner as gaikklkujin he mentioned Okyamusama. We use sama tobe polite O kyamu is enoghvfor guest

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

toshiko: The speech was polite instead of mentioning Foreigner as gaikklkujin he mentioned Okyamusama.

Thought the "Okyamusama" were the "Japanese customers", 日本人のお客さま, not the Foreigners (in the Japanese quote the moderator provided it looks like the conductor said 外国人 for Foreigners).

That's not to say the moderator's unattributed (non-linked) Japanese quote is correct. Unless there's audio available somewhere, I'd doubt anyone's recollection of something heard 5th or 6th hand from someone's anecdote about an incident that happened on a train a few hundred miles away a few days ago.

Maybe the quoted text has been back and forth through translation a few times. Like the grapevine game (伝言ゲーム), but worse.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

it feels that every day, we foreigners are less and less welcome in this country

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@turbostat

In the moderator's text, it says 外国人のお客さま. I think Toshiko is right.

I have an interest in this. Back in the the day, I taught staff from Nankai Railway. I also used to ride their trains regulalrly for about nine years. They never gave me any trouble.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

albaleo: @turbostat In the moderator's text, it says 外国人のお客さま. I think Toshiko is right.

Oh, OK, thanks, I missed seeing the text after 外国人.

Sorry, toshiko.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He could say just Gainin and Okyaku san. But too. Many. Cute blond hair people were riding?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I would have thought that he was apologizing to the regular commuters because there were a large number of travelers, with luggage, on the train. But that's just me.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hopefully he is ashamed and will think more about all of his passengers.

Isn't it possible that the driver was trying deescalate the angry passenger by making the announcement, that the complaining passenger, maybe feeling a little embarrassed, would be satisfied with the announcement and then keep quite?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Come on... not gotta judge from the act of a single Japanese man. Japanese people are really friendly with foreigner.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Galápagos syndrome.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm just imagining during the Opening Ceremony, an announcer apologizes for the overcrowding of foreigners in the stadium.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It Wouldn't surprise me if Japanese tour operators apologised to their customers for all the foreigners inhabiting the places they take their tour groups to either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Chinese government and travel agencies should take the initiative to educate their tourists for their bad behaviour when they became wealthy enough and traveled abroad for the first time. The Chinese should not use this as an excuse. Chinese tourists have a long way to go before they will be respected by the world. Just ask people in Hong Kong.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Bill Adams

the reason the train was so crowded was because of the large number of international travellers

Except he didn't actually say international travelers (which could also mean Japanese traveling abroad), did he?

He used a somewhat loaded word - foreigner. While it's not as bad as gaijin (outsider), it's still something he should have avoided.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Come on... not gotta judge from the act of a single Japanese man. Japanese people are really friendly with foreigner.

As far as the article goes, it is that Japanese drive who believe all foreigners are a nuisance, not the opposite.....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The apology need not come from some conductor. Naturally the normal business and school crowd needs to get to their gigs on time, oh, I don't know what the heck I'm talking about. Lots of tourists could be lower hotel rates outta season. How do you say Catachatwentytwo in Japanese?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yeah, why can't Japan welcome foreigners with open arms like other countries....

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The United States has decided to send all their psycho scary clowns to Japan in a wave of apology. "There's too many giant shoes and big red noses on this train!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Except he didn't actually say international travelers (which could also mean Japanese traveling abroad), did he?

@Gaijindesu

I would also add that he apologized exclusively to Japanese nationals who he felt were being inconvenienced exclusively by foreign nationals. Us versus them. I am sure there were plenty of foreign residents of Japan on that train who were arguably equally "inconvenienced."

The train operator's inappropriate choice of wording is clearly symptomatic the commonly held victimization narrative in Japan that the good-natured, well-mannered people of Japan regularly suffer at the hands of ill-mannered foreigners (in this case I assume it was mostly Chinese nationals given the huge influx of Chinese tourists to Japan last week during that nation's extended holiday).

What the train operator said about Japanese passengers being caused inconvenience at the hand of foreign passengers, and how he said it, are considered quite acceptable in many circles in Japan, and often used as an opportunity for "us versus them" bonding. I've heard this sort of talk often in Japanese.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yahoo News? Many of those who leave comments there are RACIST - in Japan and the U.S. - so no surprise there when a story like this brings them out of their hole.

As for the foreigners on trains announcement, who know what this train driver was really hinting at. He might be sincere in his apology. Or he might have aired what a lot of Japanese people feel deep down inside - that lots of foreigners on trains will stink up the joint, literally and figuratively.

Instead of focusing on the driver and the passenger who made the complaint in the first place, let's applaud the JAPANESE woman who actually spoke to the train company afterwards.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@Jalapeno

You are right when you say it is important to focus on Japanese lady who spoke to the company.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wow, not good.

Guaranteed, this will make worldwide sensational news as yet another example of how 'xenophobic' and 'racist' all Japanese are.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

In almost a decade living in this place I only got a handful of japaneses that expressed their true feelings, indeed you don't even have to hear the reality from them, just look at their products and everything western they try to copy, from architecture to eyelashes. The japanese are truly disturbed and gotta have the greatest inferiority complex of all time!! The reason some japanese shun foreigners? Because they are too "kakkoii" so you feel embarassed or even nervous - according to a friend. What's the reason many japanese all sudden start staring the floor, the sky, the wall, any opposite direction whenever they see you coming their way? Sometimes it can be funny how hard they try to feign they "didn't see" the handsome foreigner. Like somebody driving a Lada doing his best to not be caught watching the Ferrari just passing by. Some turn their back on you when they see you standing next to them in the train. Never wondered why? Oh and the infamous "goukon" or any given drinking party.... all the japaneses having a good time until some of their friend comes with a foreigner..... the smile vanishing from some "cool" guy's faces are simply priceless! They have all the confidence of this world... until a handsome foreigner shows up!

Wouldn't blame any Japanese around this kind of person for not showing true feelings

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Jalapeño: "Instead of focusing on the driver and the passenger who made the complaint in the first place, let's applaud the JAPANESE woman who actually spoke to the train company afterwards."

Yeah, why discuss and try to eliminate the cause, eh? Heaven forbid.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

As the 2020 Olympics approaches, I can't help but feel more and more uncomfortable and that Japan may disgrace itself permanently with incidents like this

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Isn't it possible that the driver was trying deescalate the angry passenger by making the announcement, that the complaining passenger, maybe feeling a little embarrassed, would be satisfied with the announcement and then keep quite?

I kind of agree with this. Like me going to the Hanshin game and saying to my friends that the pitcher stinks and needs to get taken out. Kanemoto grabs the mic to apologize to the fans for the bad pitching.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Must be a rambling OJIISAN that provoked the driver into apologizing. I have been riding the trains for 10 years now. Never once I found them inhospitable. But then again, many foreigners (who are here to visit or are haven't lived that long in Japan) sometimes (not always) behave undisciplined on public transport. Laughing out loud, littering and trying to engage the Japanese in small-talk during transit.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Well good on the Japanese woman for complaining!

About 10,000 Koreans in Japan become Japanese nationals every year. I think she is one of them. It turned out a Korean who complained about too much wasabi on his sushi.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course some foreigners laugh out loud and are noisy on train, but lot of people go to Japan a few days and they don't know the rules. But it's what happens when you want tourism. You have to accept that they are from different culture. About the small-talk, I never tried to start a chat with Japanese people (or any other nationality) on train, but it happened to me quite a few times that a Japanese started talking to me. I'm still alive, I mean it's being friendly. Maybe some people will dislike that, but in society you meet people and thats how it is. This Summer I went to USJ for the first time and I had to take lot of photos with lot of people. My friend and I were tired to take photos, but we found it quite funny to be asked to take photos by Japanese strangers so we said yes everytime and smiled. So no foreigners aren't the only to blame when it's about small talk or stopping strangers on the street.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's not about their attitude, it was their luggage.

https://scontent-cdg2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14642368_1496400863708692_2605328189751254879_n.jpg?oh=f866b448ab6d4f6ba18bed34125bbdfb&oe=589EDD5B

Obviously many are traveling economy and didn't care to buy express.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

it was their luggage

I was waiting for someone putting up this photo. That was not only the line to the International airport but also everyday community line for the locals.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It was their luggage.

Shopping brought in Japan with presumably Chinese money. Oh the horror once more!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If Nankai are running services to the airport with carriages that provide no space for luggage, then passengers are going to put it next to where they are sitting. It's going to be an everyday occurrence. If live and let live is beyond their passengers, Nankai should redesign their carriages or rejig their services so that airport bound passengers take trains that only go to the airport.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What is very funny is that Japanese don't realize their future effort to learn speaking Chinese. After America departs Japan, what would happen? LOL

Japanese won't understand my question, so I'll spell it out.

Hey, Japan, without America's help, you will have to speak Chinese. Duh...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Lets be honest there, the US isn't in Japan because they wanna help Japan. They have their own interests. Even if they weren't there, China wouldn't invade Japan.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Just curious, has anyone ever have it were they were talking with their friend(s) on the train (not loudly or being disruptive, but just talking and having a good time) but the japanese people on the train around them get all rude and start yelling at you not to talk..?? Has anyone ever gotten that? I remember those days. its like they would hate on you just for talking with your friend(s) and having a good time! its almost as if it wasn't allowed to have fun, you had to go into meditation mode with your eyes closed and sleep... maybe if that person i was talking to was Japanese, they would have acted differently and more tolerant, possibly.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm with the train driver on this one. Anyone who has taken a train from Kansai to Osaka knows how awful the tourist (in particular Chinese) can be. I don't know how many times I've watch enourmous rolling suit cases roll around the train crashing into people, listened to conversations that were screaming matches, and tourists leave trash or spit everywhere. It really is an inconvenience for people who live in Japan. The root of the problem; when tourist come to another nation and treat it as if it was their own country completely lacking respect for local social customs and courtesies. This is a common feeling amongst people in all nations dealing with influx of foreign tourist. So I appreciate the recognition of the inconvenience it caused to regular users.

If service was refused to people due to them bring foreign tourists that would be something worth complaining about.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Welcoming with open arm? it has been illegal to hug in Japan since 1947. Don't expect much bodily friendship in Japan ifasshimase, konnichiwa if not stranger

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Having lived in Switzerland for close to 10 years, all the while traveling extensively in Europe, I can assure you that anti-tourist attitudes exist in many other places. This does not excuse this ridiculous example, but we cannot expect the bias to ever disappear.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes, I wonder why everyone who isn't Japanese is labeled as a foreigner! I mean it's as if it's us (Japanese) and the rest of the world. Not a very good ideal for wanting to be an international minded country. and with the Olympics coming up, wait till they see all the tattoos. Guess, everyone (foreigners) will be considered yakuza!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Over where I live in USA, business separate people as Local for us and do not say foreigners for tourists.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hope the 5 likes I got understood I was being ironic. Japan is far more foreigner-friendly than many countries.

Anyway, let's face it, in many cases when 外国人 is used as a blanket term, they often really mean 中国人.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not really surprising. Just Japan in a nutshell. I guess the guy who complained wouldn't be considered troublesome, but having a lot of foreigners onboard automatically is a problem. Japan:easy to like but hard to love.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Smithinjapan: Do you think griping about racists in Japan (or anywhere else) is going to eliminate racism?

I'm kind of glad this train driver made this announcement. I'm glad the passenger who complained about the foreigners made his true feelings known. Because it just proves what we all should have known already, that racism exists EVERYWHERE. Some people are more overt than others about it.

Now, you can let incidents like this turn you into a smoldering curmudgeon, or you can focus on the positives - one being that it was a Japanese woman who called out this train driver.

In general, humans are uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. In Osaka or Tokyo, a few foreigners on a train is familiar. But a large gaggle of them? Yeah, some people - nay, lots of people - will be uncomfortable. This isn't New York. It's Japan! Get used to that fact before you start thinking Japan should be as tolerant as a place like the U.S. (which even now is still suffering from horrific incidents of blatant and threatening racism).

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Jalapeno

It's not about being uncomfortable with unfamiliar. If you had taken a look at the situation I posted within the trains you'll understand the complaints being made by the local commuters using that line on a daily basis that people can't seize the entire train with their luggage and whether tourists or not regardless of being a foreigner or not.

They have express lines that connect the airport to CBD for tourists who have large luggage and the train operators expect tourist to use them and not hog commuter trains with their luggage.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Triring - so the bigger question then is, based on your picture, were ALL of these passengers with big luggage foreigners? - hence the need to single them out by train driver, and by the passenger who was bothered by them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Andrew Crisp:

" What nationality were they - Japanese are pretty good to Western Tourists "

I would assume they were Western Tourists. And I quite understand the train driver. Have you ever taken a bunch of "name" Western friends anywhere here? Things suddenly get much louder and more confused than the locals are used to.

Yes, seen through a Western lens, his announcement sounds terrible. But there is context to everything.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The driver should be fired, not just "under fire"

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

They said gaijin has no good manners, especially on the train? today the two old woman sitting besides me, talking loud, and their phone was too loud also. So whose annoying? I have respect for the Japanese but the way they treated the foreigner its not good at all.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I have just been to Nikko for 3 days and was treated wonderfully by every Japanese I met. They could not have been more eager to please. Had an amazing time there. Japan ain`t perfect but it is pretty good.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Jalapeno

Strawman argument.

Nobody can say for certain that they are either foreigner or Japanese but probability is that they are all foreigners since Japanese tourists knowing the hassle on regular commuters take the limited express for comfort and extra room for luggage which these people within the picture did not bother to do.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Triring- not a strawman - if you can't say for certain, then don't single them out.

Oh, and to write something like the "probability is that they are all foreigners since Japanese tourists knowing the hassle on regular commuters take the limited express..."?

Hmmm, twice in that sentence, you overgeneralized. In Tokyo, I've seen MANY Japanese tourists clogging up the aisles on their way to Narita. And "probability they are all foreigners" - wow, so you you were there?

Try again, Triring.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese tourists knowing the hassle on regular commuters take the limited express

According to the article, this was a limited Nankai Electric Railway airport express

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Is this to be expected for the Olympics?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They should have "foreigners only" carriages, just next to the "women only" carriages; and now I think of it, why not "drunks only", "girls putting on make-up only", "nose-pickers only" and "sniffers only" carriages. Oh and, of course, "people who like to complain about too many foreigners only" carriages. It's gonna be a bloody long train...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't know how many times I've watch enourmous rolling suit cases roll around the train crashing into people, listened to conversations that were screaming matches, and tourists leave trash or spit everywhere.

This really happened on the train to the New Kansai Airport ?? I've never seen anything like it on the way to Haneda or Narita.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is this to be expected for the Olympics?

I have the gut wrenching feeling that it just might, sadly.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posters who think the train driver is a racist = claim Japanese people should be able to speak better english for foreigners.= not really mingle with Japanese= believe Japan so xenophobic

Posters who think the train driver just awkward in selecing right words=think foreigners should be able to speak minimum Japanese better =think Japan just more homogeneous compared to others

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

i agree with the train driver. to many foreigners in japan is a horror.... a few will blend perfectly in but to many create stress, trouble and same problems they got in their countries... keep foreigners to a minimum in japan!!! thats the reason why i live here.... say yes to mono race, mono language and mono culture. thats the word almost every japanese guy told me... the 3 big M"s. japan keep it that way!! nature designed it like that. try to mix up different species in animal world what would you get? WAR!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posters who think the train driver is a racist

Dunno if he's a racist, but what he said was definitely rude and discriminatory.

claim Japanese people should be able to speak better english for foreigners.

I've never claimed any such.

not really mingle with Japanese

On a day-to-day basis, I mingle with nothing but Japanese....

believe Japan so xenophobic

Not surprising, if a lot of the comments bandied about on JT are typical of the furriner at large in Japan. (Japanese are this, Japanese do that...)

Posters who think the train driver just awkward in selecing right words

He certainly was that.

think foreigners should be able to speak minimum Japanese better

Tourists? No. If you're spending any amount of time here, earning a living here, then it would not be untoward to at least make an effort. Though not everyone has a natural linguistic bent.

think Japan just more homogeneous compared to others

If you really spend lots of time mingling with Japanese, you know this just isn't true.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is pretty shocking. In all the times I've been to Japan I've never encountered racism, and I've never experienced the refusal to sit next to me that others seem to have.

Racism in Japan is very oblique, most foreigners would not notice it. Japanese will usually no sit next to me on the train if there are other seats available, and when one does, most of the time it will be a woman (Japanese often used to think that I was Paul Walker). But racism becomes quite obvious when doing something like renting an apartment or office, or opening a business bank account.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

cleo

According to the article, this was a limited Nankai Electric Railway airport express

It was a 特別急行 or 特急 that can be used at basic price and has intermediate stops between Nanba and Kanku. There is a rapid express that goes non-stop between Kanku and Nanba for a 510 yen extra which is dedicated for people that have extra luggage that these tourists completely ignored.

Jalapeno

Looks as if you don't even know the meaning of a strawman argument considering what you posted.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is a rapid express that goes non-stop between Kanku and Nanba for a 510 yen extra which is dedicated for people that have extra luggage that these tourists completely ignored.

Do we know that they all knew about it? Or that they were all coming from Nanba?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think this is something we will see, as Japan increases tourism and eventually migrants (with the decreasing and aging population) a bit of a struggle to accommodate everyone.

Now what I will say is I can understand some degree of frustration, who's fault or right answer I can't say entirely, but Im a resident of Japan but travel regularly and the increase of tourists at the airport then trying to either get to the airport or home is frustrating, while the services available to help visitors could most likely be improved too. (though did see multilingual bus ticketing ordering translation through Skype/facetime on iPad at Haneda helping out some people)

To be honest large groups of disorganized people yelling into their phones oblivious to any of the social conventions isn't really what I want to deal with after a 12 hour flight...

However the driver, like many Japanese have to learn its not simply them and us, the use of gaijin or even gaikokujin is outdated, in this case, perhaps "we have some large groups of tourists aboard today thank you for your patience" or since it was a train to the airport, "we are busy today please be considerate of each other" would have sufficed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If the driver had said "tourists" instead of "foreigners", I think I would be in support of him. Tourists can be pretty obnoxious anywhere, not just in Kansai. I'd rather all of us foreign residents in Japan weren't automatically painted with that brush, though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Triring - Strawman = sham argument

Prove that my argument was a sham. Otherwise, try again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sir I had to smile, the statement was so japanese--well it was so polite :O) the comment of racism is a word to often bandied about through ignorance !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Uhm, this is Nankai Electric Railway.

Anyone who knows Osaka is not surprised by this.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If only the UK had had the sense to take a Japanese attitude in the 1950's, I might never have had to flee to a safer country! Oddly enough, Britain's first wave of mass immigration since the ice age (as new research is suggesting the Saxons, as well as the Normans and Romans, were just changes of aristocracy, not replacements of the population. Why do we speak English, then? Gee, why do the Indians?) was apparently needed to "rebuild after the war", something Japan managed largely on it's own, with the only assistance coming from a miniscule Korean and Chinese population, and a transient American one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why does he still have his job??

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan should do better service for foreign English speakers and provide a car for special service.

Americans generally talk about raping Japanese women and taking our money (from men) and from women they call Japanese men dumb J's and take their money I experienced this throughout USA even as a dual US/Japanese citizen who is fluent in English. I can't imagine other non-Asian nation people are much different as it has not been my experience outside of a few NY friends who have been overall lousy with the anti-Japanese behavior as well. I think that Japan should make a English speaking cars so that Foreigners can have help to go to their destinations. America discriminates despite their laws and does not provide translators for Japanese women even in New York State, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. Even here in Hawaii, there are people who track Japanese women visitors and our phones and harass us because they think it's acceptable to do so and will not have punishment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

About 14 years ago made and laminated a little A4 size sign in Japanese that said “Scary foreigner sitting here. Be careful” with an arrow pointing to me that I would put on the seat when I was sitting on a crowded train and no one would sit next to me. It got stares and sometimes giggles but I think it got the point across. I still ride the same line and no doubt some of the current riders are the same people from 14 years ago but people always sit next to me now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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