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Russian-language sign at station in Tokyo back on view after being covered up

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Why do many commentators are sympathetic with Russians? Putin was elected by them and vast majority of them support him. We Japanese still have been bashed by foreigners for misdeeds in WW2 even after 80 years past. but I believe its the cost we Japanese have to bear. By the same token, Russians have to bear the cost of their misdeed in Ukraine.

Even if you were totally against the Russian government and their position in the Ukranian conflict, that doesn't justify blanket racism against an entire culture of people. It is incredibly depressing that that even needs to be said.

Americans have a pretty long history of electing far worse war criminals, yet people don't [generally] hate all American people. Nor should they; I was born in America and certainly have no love lost for any American leadership. They recognize that the leadership of a country is not always representative of all the people.

Not to mention, this isn't even necessarily about Russians in Russia. Long-dead russians who died before Putin was even born are being censored, ethnic Russians who are citizens of other countries are being targeted.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ukrainians also use Cyrillic script , as do Bulgarians

So do Serbians and people of Montenegro and parts of Bosnia

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why do many commentators are sympathetic with Russians? Putin was elected by them and vast majority of them support him. We Japanese still have been bashed by foreigners for misdeeds in WW2 even after 80 years past. but I believe its the cost we Japanese have to bear. By the same token, Russians have to bear the cost of their misdeed in Ukraine.

They're Russians. Japan is in the region. Right now,, the only Russians still able to get on the internet are those permitted by the Kremlin to be out spreading Russian propaganda. Their goal is to push the premise that there were Nazis in Ukraine, that Ukraine is really part of Russia, and that Nato has been taking over nations so Russia had to protect themselves. It's like when America tried to justify their invasion of Iraq based on 9-11, when it was (and still is) clear to the world that the leader of America then, and Putin now, are just trying to make up excuses to justify the actions they wanted to take for their own personal, nefarious reasons.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why do many commentators are sympathetic with Russians? Putin was elected by them and vast majority of them support him. We Japanese still have been bashed by foreigners for misdeeds in WW2 even after 80 years past. but I believe its the cost we Japanese have to bear. By the same token, Russians have to bear the cost of their misdeed in Ukraine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Russian policy toward Ukraine has nothing to do with the Russian people who had not much say in conducting the war. Singling out a race just because its governments policy is insane and something a school child would do.. This needs to stop now.

The average people in Russia deserve nothing but sympathy. Their children are being sent to die in Ukraine, for the ego of a dictator. It's sad.

But, the fact is, Putin has turned into a problem for the world, so the options are go to war against Russia to destroy Putin, or quarantine the world from Russia and let the Russian people either deal with their Putin problem, or live in quarantine for the rest of time. It's very sad, but the only people who can deal with Putin are the Russians. It's out of our hands, unless we want war, and most of us don't.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

藤原Apr. 16  01:43 pm JST

Russian policy toward Ukraine has nothing to do with the Russian people who had not much say in conducting the war. Singling out a race just because its governments policy is insane and something a school child would do. This does not only Japan but many other countries as well including most western nations. This needs to stop now.

Unfortunately it does now have a lot to do with the Russian people. They have allowed Putin to gain too much power and be another dictator of their nation. Citizens who don't hold their politicians accountable are part of the problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Absolutely insane that they covered it up at all. It is a language, it has no political affiliation whatsoever. If seeing a language makes you "uncomfortable" the problem lies with you, not the sign. If there were a giant statue of Putin in the train station, I could see that logic.

Glad they retracted that one, but just another sign of the massive wave of Russophobia that has been sweeping the world.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In Quasi Japan, support for Ukraine is Quasi and we Quasi condems Russia's inavion of Ukraine. Remember, any Ukrainian who manages to flee to Japan will be granted QUASI Refugee status.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I applaud Japan for their signs in foreign languages, ni European city or the USA has it in abundance, in any

1 ( +1 / -0 )

After 9-11, even before all the dust from the collapsed Twin Towers had settled, we were finger-wagging-lectured not to discriminate against or look down on Muslims.

Same sort of thing with Chinese people after the COVID broke out.

Fair enough, both of those thoughts. More than fair.

But it seems (at least with many people) that it's perfectly okay to dish out discriminatory treatment against all Russians (and by extension, Belarusians) on account of Putin.

Why is that?

Could it be that in this case, because the group in question is predominantly if not exclusively white people, discrimination and group-blame is okay?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder which idiot thought that up.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Who gets offended by a sign that just reads a place's name? That's more than childish, it's pathetic.

China, South Korea, so many people there got offended by made in Japan goods , crushed them all, attacked Japanese restaurants/shops/factories, campaigned for no Japan.

What makes this case different?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Good to see that, in Nihon at least, there are limits to trivial, infantile behaviors...but, sadly, not to such minds.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Who gets offended by a sign that just reads a place's name? That's more than childish, it's pathetic.

And now I'll have another glass of Russian Vodka. За здоровье!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

JR East's Tokyo branch, which learned of the situation on Thursday, said it had been considering removing the foreign language signs after the Tokyo Games concluded last summer, "but we have yet to decide what to do."

That’s Japan for you in a nutshell!

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

I like what Lord Dartmouth, when it comes to China, welcome,,,welcome, our Hotels are waiting for you.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

All stations in the medium to big cities, almost all lines are numbered or marked.

Make it simple to save energy and resource

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

that had been covered with a sheet of paper last week following complaints from passengers upset at Russia's invasion of Ukraine

One word: Petty!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

How can signs showing directions in a foreign language in a railway station used by many foreigners in a major city anywhere worldwide be discriminatory or make you feeling uncomfortable?

In Japan there are many signs not only in Japanese, but also in English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese ...

No idea what might be wrong with that.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Welcome back Rationality

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Are they covering up Chinese signs because of the genocide against the Uighurs? Thought not. Are they closing their Uniqlo shops in Saudi Arabia because of their genocide against Yemen? Thought not. Let's be honest, when America gets serious about something (In this case, Ukraine), that's when it's serious and Japan will leap into action.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Maybe a better idea would be to add Ukranian sign or substitute the Russian one with Ukranian.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Russian policy toward Ukraine has nothing to do with the Russian people who had not much say in conducting the war. Singling out a race just because its governments policy is insane and something a school child would do. This does not only Japan but many other countries as well including most western nations. This needs to stop now.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Absolutely idiotic. When the US/UK starved, bombed, and invaded Iraq killing over 500k women and children, did the Japanese cover up English signs?

Your comment has nothing to do with the story.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

The people that covered it up, just didn’t think it through. Now covering up a picture of Putin, that I would understand.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Station staff covered up the Russian sign and attached an "out of service" note in Japanese in its place on April 7 after receiving complaints from some passengers that the sight of the Russian language made them "uncomfortable."

Why would it make people uncomfortable? This, I don't understand. As for the station covering up the sign, just a knee-jerk reaction that would definitely cause more problems for them than what would be solved.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Cover a sign, and cover your face.

Why?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Russian language is being used outside Russia, even become official language in Belarus, Kazakhsta and Kyrgyzstan. Even being used widely in other countries that not being used Russian as official language, like Ukraine has large population people that used Russian language.

In Ukraine's population russian language it's because For many centuries was total Russification and destruction of the Ukrainian nation. This is proof of the population census from 1863. And during the Holodomor to cover the Ukrainian genocide, Stalin Reviews the territory of Ukraine Russians.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Collective guilt and collective punishment is a horrendous mindset and people shouldn’t be so stupid as to conflate Putin the gangster with the actual Russian people, many of which are disgusted at all hat this maniac has done and just trying to survive like the rest of us. It’s a slippery slope to hell to blame them for him.

Some good lessons on show here. tread carefully. Treat everyone as an individual and you will avoid falling into the pit yourself.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Something like ‘FSB Japan branch, Tokyo office’, that’s probably a more precise description, in Cyrillic or whatever else alphabet. lol

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

So typical that the Japanese sign shows Naka Meguro first then Roppongi (assumption being most Japanese will go home in the suburb), but the foreign language signs are reversed assuming that the foreigner wants to go to party in Roppongi.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Wasn't needed in the first place.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Absolutely idiotic. When the US/UK starved, bombed, and invaded Iraq killing over 500k women and children, did the Japanese cover up English signs?

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

It's about time people stop associating Cyrillic with Russia, it's has been over a decade since it has become one of the official alphabets in the EU (along with Latin and Greek).

Cyrillic alphabet is not Russian. It was created on the Balkans for the purpose of expressing Slavic languages. The first country to start using it was Bulgaria and from there it spread to other nations.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Just the sight of the Russian language make people everywhere, or in most countries, want to vomit, so it’s not so surprising.

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Avert thine eyes!!!

This is the dumbest thing i have seen in a looooong time

3 ( +9 / -6 )

To complete the list of countries using Cyrillic, apart from Russia Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia all use it. It’s also a minority language in many others.

And if people want to boycott Russian vodka, don’t pick on Stolichnaya. It’s headquartered in Latvia. You should be drinking Polish wodka (not a misspelling) anyway.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

One of the most petty and childish things I’ve ever heard recently

7 ( +14 / -7 )

This would be considered a hate crime in many nations.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

Hate Putin but not the Russian people. There are now 15000 Russian political prisoners who protested against Putin's rape of Ukraine. There are dissidents who are now risking imprisonment by speaking out.

Putin brought consumer goods to Russia but snuffed Russia's nascent democracy. Putin is not a popular man in Russia these days.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

The endless virtue signaling by Japanese people be it in regards to perma-masking or China or Russia is really getting old.

Every time Japan finds itself in the crosshairs due to its own blunders (for example, the endless and discriminatory travel ban), it finds a way to redirect people's attention onto something else and away from Japan's own problems.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Well, it is up to JR East if there will be a sign in Russian or not.

They are a private company so if they want to put out signs in Swahili only it is up to them.

However, ordinary Russians are responsible for the suffering of many Ukrainian people, not Putin so in my opinion the sign should be taken down.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

I was pretty upset about the illegal invasion of Iraq by America, backed by Britain, who bombed the country to kingdom come, and yet English signs weren't covered up."

Exactly, but that kind of double standard is obviously too hard to comprehend for the passengers who complained that the sight of the Russian language made them "uncomfortable.".

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Why don't we start reviewing Japan's overall language service policy? For example, the language selection for public signs are often arbitrary or insufficient. According to the latest data, a large majority of foreign residents in Tokyo speak Mandarin Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Tagalog..... Russian is far behind in the order. The case for JR EAST doesn't necessarily correspond to potential local service needs.

There are also complaints about so many foreign languages put in small spaces, some being switched by a few seconds on bulletin boards, making people feel confused or overwhelmed. I don't think that such complaints are chauvinistic or prejudiced. Meanwhile in the countryside many places are still monolingual or Japanese (kanji) only.

My personal preference is the wider use of the Japanese phonetic kana alongside kanji texts and English/Roman alphabets for public signs and instructions. Many foreign residents understand kana. As the budget is often tight, multicultural programmes should be more strategic.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Excessively polite or O-mo-te-na-shi.

We could also say Ba-ka-te-na-shi.

Engrish is enough !

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

I was pretty upset about the illegal invasion of Iraq by America, backed by Britain, who bombed the country to kingdom come, and yet English signs weren't covered up.

I wonder how many people realize that Russian is elensky's first language.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

@garypen

How do you know what paint thinner tastes like ?

Your not supposed to taste or drink it for obvious reasons !

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

covered with a sheet of paper last week following complaints from passengers upset at Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Oh please, grow a thicker skin and think about the thousands of normal Russians arrested at anti war protests, hate Putin but dont get ridiculous by covering Russian signs, banning Tchaikovsky etc.

garypenToday  09:23 am JST

Have people stopped drinking/ buying Russian Vodka too?

I hope so. It tastes like paint thinner."

Here we go.....dont know what you,ve been buying but a suggest spending more than 800yen on bottles. Russia makes some great vodka.....again insult Putin, stop insulting vodka, ,lol.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

There are many idiots in this world without purpose…

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Meiyouwenti

Do we really need multilingual signs?

Yes. We do.

There are so many in Tokyo that you hardly know where you are.

For most people, they help them know where they are.

In Paris, most signs are only in French but the country attracts the largest number of tourists from around the world.

Good for them.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Have people stopped drinking/ buying Russian Vodka too?

I hope so. It tastes like paint thinner.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

complaints from some passengers that the sight of the Russian language made them "uncomfortable."

If this is true and not something made up to justify JR's stupidity, how pathetic can you get? Are they complaining about Chinese and Korean too?

MeiyouwentiToday  08:33 am JST

Do we really need multilingual signs? There are so many in Tokyo that you hardly know where you are.

I've never heard this before, maybe you are easily confused?

MatToday  08:09 am JST

Be against Russian government, not Russian people.

Quite so.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

I studied the meaning of the word “philistine”.

noun: a person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts. 

adjective: hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts. 

it seems the West can be described as this. And Japan has taken its orders. Banning languages, especially for information is akin to banning Russian trees, cats, dogs, music art, history.

I’m ashamed of my birth country forcing me to become a discrimination philistine.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

Let's suggest some new signs in Russian.

How about, "This Way To Request Asylum." Next to the digital "Today's Bonus For Requesting Asylum."

How about," This Way To Exchange Your Useless Rubles Into Something Valuable."

Or how about "Got Sputnik V? This Way To Talk To A Real Doctor About Surviving Covid."

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Speed -

My same thoughts exactly about the kanji.

There's a massive amount of foreign influences and products that makes Japan what it is today ,including their constitution that was written by foreigners.

If Japan stopped using everything foreign they would be back in the stone age with grass skirts.

The double standards here in Japan are appalling.

Looking around its extremely difficult to find anything that's truly Japanese as almost everything was introduced or adopted from elsewhere.

-18 ( +9 / -27 )

Pathetic to cover it up in the first place.

Mindless people

0 ( +17 / -17 )

Strange that in the first place JR complied for a few passengers complains.

Lack of discernment from both sides

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

This act of covering the Russian language sign is a classic case of racial prejudice discrimination against anthing Russian.

Its important to recognize that the acts of another countries government should not degrade the entire population ,products or language internationally.

Does the railway use any Russian products or fuels for it's business ?

-12 ( +11 / -23 )

Do we really need multilingual signs? There are so many in Tokyo that you hardly know where you are. In Paris, most signs are only in French but the country attracts the largest number of tourists from around the world.

-20 ( +5 / -25 )

Whither, whither, Japan. Dither forever. So, so typical. Not world-leading. But, in justification I might add that there are NO real leaders in the world of politics. None. It's down to the dirty. Mark my words.

And I'll be glad to be dead before it happens.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Need no foreign language whatsoever. Make it simple

-26 ( +6 / -32 )

Stupid. Might as well have covered up the kanji too since many of China's actions have made me feel "uncomfortable."

3 ( +19 / -16 )

Be against Russian government, not Russian people.

1 ( +18 / -17 )

Daft. Ukrainians also use Cyrillic script , as do Bulgarians.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

There's quite a few bilingual road signs in the north of Hokkaido,too.I'm happy to cover them,if travel expenses covered.

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

Have people stopped drinking/ buying Russian Vodka too?

0 ( +12 / -12 )

East Japan Railway Co (JR East) reversed its decision to cover the sign at Ebisu Station on Tokyo's Yamanote Line after criticism that the move could be considered discriminatory.

"Could be" discriminatory? It IS discriminatory and once again, Japan's lack of international cultural awareness and sensitivity is at play here again. The Russian language is an official language in 4 countries and the Cyrillic alphabet is used in many post-Soviet states. The actions of one should not condemn the many but this is such a typical Japanese mindset that has spilled into so many aspects of non-Japanese people's lives here. Take housing for example - many local landlords and owners pointblank refuse to rent to non-Japanese people because they "heard" that non-Japanese tenants are loud, messy, dirty etc. Way to stereotype. Not at all surprised that JR caved into doing something so foolish just because some commuters felt "uncomfortable".

-3 ( +16 / -19 )

Understand your context @Laguna, but for Japan, the languagedoes makeTHIS country.

- @6:38am “Language never a country does make.” -

From the Japanese people’s perpetual self-praise: it’s beautiful, it’s garish; it’s complex, it’s simple; it’s rigid, it’s flexible; it’s dogmatic, it’s open to interpretation; . . .

Their language is the most distinctive trait of the Japanese culture, both truly unique and, at times, a great hinderance to their progress trying to keep up amongst the changing world:

“*staff covered up the sign and **attached an "out of service" note in Japanese** after receiving complaints from some passengers that the sight of the Russian language made them "uncomfortable.***" -
-10 ( +14 / -24 )

Japan getting serious on sanctions by stopping 1.1% of Russian imports and covering a sign for a week.

Putin must be laughing.

-2 ( +21 / -23 )

At first glance, the "naka" in Naka-Meguro appears to be "haka" (a grave) in the Latin alphabet. That may have startled a few passengers.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

Feels strangely reminiscent as when Japan stopped using English words for strike,ball,home run,etc. in baseball around WW2.

-3 ( +17 / -20 )

Most of the Russians I know here speak english.

-11 ( +14 / -25 )

Are there that many Russians in Ebisu that there even needs to be a sign?

-17 ( +13 / -30 )

Russian sign showing directions in a Tokyo train station that had been covered with a sheet of paper last week following complaints from passengers upset at Russia's invasion of Ukraine was uncovered Friday by the rail operator

.East Japan Railway Co (JR East) reversed its decision to cover the sign at Ebisu Station on Tokyo's Yamanote Line after criticism that the move could be considered discriminatory.

Russian language is being used outside Russia, even become official language in  Belarus, Kazakhsta and  Kyrgyzstan. Even being used widely in other countries that not being used Russian as official language, like Ukraine has large population people that used Russian language.

2 ( +17 / -15 )

So Childish

16 ( +35 / -19 )

Language never a country does make. Plenty of Russkies are as appalled at the devastation their country has inflicted on Ukraine as others. Covering was a kneejerk reaction; glad they rectified it.

15 ( +32 / -17 )

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