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Tokyo hotel criticized for 'Japanese only' notice for elevator use

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Us and them. The Japanese worldview in 1603 … and 2021.

68 ( +78 / -10 )

what a wonderful way to welcome your guests

60 ( +68 / -8 )

The island mentality in the 21st century?

Nothing changes…

53 ( +63 / -10 )

How about an “Idiots only” elevator?

39 ( +47 / -8 )

I’m a Permanent Resident in Japan. Which elevator should I use?

53 ( +65 / -12 )

Another demonstration of “o-NO!-te-na-shi!”

25 ( +33 / -8 )

So Japanese just blaming foreigners for COVID increase. Meanwhile in Tokyo mainly Japanese young people go drinking and talk loud on the streets.

This hotel is discriminating to foreigners. I hope foreigners will pass this hotel.

And as many said Japan does not change over a period of 400 years.

It's a pitty.

40 ( +50 / -10 )

The gaffs keep coming’.

25 ( +33 / -8 )

The WORLD watches and is now enjoying “Tokyo’s Pre-Olympic ’games” in preparation for guests.

16 ( +23 / -7 )

Just curious, what guests do they expect due to the Olympics? Are people still planning to travel to Japan for the Olympics?

16 ( +24 / -8 )

One more note, this happened in America in the passed has color and white person desperation, and WW2 with Jewish people to separation.

I really wonder what difference is with the hotel. It is desperation.

But the hotel will not be followed and or get penalty.

In Europe or America it will face penalty for discrimination.

-2 ( +22 / -24 )

Just disgusting and narrow minded on so many levels. Also totally ignorant. Probably OK with Bach however.

26 ( +35 / -9 )

I’m a Permanent Resident in Japan. Which elevator should I use?

I guess the stairs.

56 ( +63 / -7 )

@monty. Maybe the stars. It just shows the total stupidity of this

13 ( +21 / -8 )

omote... ari?

4 ( +13 / -9 )

… but removed them after facing criticism. Some Japanese guests have asked the hotel whether they were prohibited from using elevators marked as for "foreigners only," they said.

Most absurdly, this discrimination apparently came to light because Japanese felt as if they were being disadvantaged by the prejudice.

35 ( +41 / -6 )

I know this hotel. I am surprised by this news.

Segregation is a dangerous path to start going down, I'm glad they removed the signs but the person who decided to put them up in the first place should be fired for gross incompetence at a minimum. How could anyone think this would be a good idea? How could they think it could be beneficial?

33 ( +39 / -6 )

On this article’s topic of separating domestic and overseas guests as an anti-coronavirus measure, how would the readers vote?

+ I would have COVID concerns if sharing a hotel elevator with talkative overseas visitors today (Japan residents only)

-  I would not have COVID concerns if sharing a hotel elevator with talkative overseas visitors today (Japan residents only)

-18 ( +8 / -26 )

They didn’t know it would be upsetting to some people because they don’t know what discrimination is

21 ( +29 / -8 )

I’m a Permanent Resident in Japan. Which elevator should I use?

I’m also a permanent resident, and I would opt to use the facilities in a different hotel.

52 ( +57 / -5 )

I'm willing to extend the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps the staff didn't explain its reasoning well but they were well intentioned. Yes, I want to believe that.

-35 ( +5 / -40 )

How about an “Idiots only” elevator?

I’m a Permanent Resident in Japan. Which elevator should I use?

I guess the stairs.

BRILLIANT!!!

omote... ari?

or Omotenashi nashi?

14 ( +21 / -7 )

Welcome to the real Japan

26 ( +34 / -8 )

Petty, small minded following rules without thinking.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

I'm willing to extend the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps the staff didn't explain its reasoning well but they were well intentioned. Yes, I want to believe that.

Lol of the early day already.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

"We apologize for having caused misunderstanding."

The only misunderstanding imaginable is thinking that the hotel is NOT run by a bunch of narrow-minded morons.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

How about an "Oyajis only" elevator. They can practice their golf swing, smoke, drink, and not wear a mask.

15 ( +23 / -8 )

There's no misunderstanding.

It's racist.

31 ( +39 / -8 )

Some Japanese guests have asked the hotel whether they were prohibited from using elevators marked as for "foreigners only," they said.

The article unfortunately doesn't report what the hotel's answer were to those questions.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

Galapagos Syndrome

3 ( +10 / -7 )

what a wonderful way to welcome your guests

That's just it. 80% of Japanese people don't want to see these "guests" in Japan.

So the sign is appropriate.

13 ( +22 / -9 )

@eyeblack

what the government and IOC tried to hide when saying all athletes will be in a bubble at the Olympic Village is 2 main points.

1: Atheltes mainly will stay at the village and this is after they spend time at a ‘training camp’ elsewhere in Japan.

2: The other 60-80,000 people from coming to Japan for the Olympics, IOC, media, etc etc, they are spread out across 500-1000 hotels in the region. Many of these hotels do have dinning/kitchen facilities to feed all their guests 3 meals per day. These people were, and still are expected to enter the community to buy food and drink.

Normally is the ‘other’ 150,000 Olmlic related visitors to a game who do the bulk of spending and visit local restaurants and sightseeing and such and provide a 2-4 week ‘boom’ for local economy. Restaurants, taxis, bus companies, retail shopping etc…

But once the party is over… things go downhill. Olympic hangover.

Unfortunately for Tokyo small business… the party never started… and never will. Of the course the big business like Dentsu are still going to profit very well, having most probably already been paid fully for their services before the games starts.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

I’m a Permanent Resident in Japan. Which elevator should I use?

The foreign one.

-19 ( +7 / -26 )

@Truthmaster

These hotel owners were definitely doing this in their pursuit of racial justice. Also, Asian Americans would fall into the "foreigner" category, which means that the sign would discriminate against those already discriminated elsewhere.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

What about those with tokubetsu eijuken such as Koreans who were born in Japan? Which elevator? Also stairs?

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Their house , their rules.

Nobody is forcing you to go there.

Wallets speak louder than outrage

No need to throw a tantrum over something this silly.

Move on

-42 ( +7 / -49 )

Nothing really changes in Japan.

23 ( +28 / -5 )

LDTM Today  06:58 am JST

How about an “Idiots only” elevator?

That elevator would take you straight to the offices of the people who run that hotel, apparently.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

We apologize for having caused misunderstanding.

So, WE are the problem as we failed to "understand" the hotel's signs. Which is odd, because the meaning was 100 percent clear to me.

27 ( +31 / -4 )

The way they put on the signs were bad but their intention was to separate

their ordinary guests from Olympic related guests.

Not defending discrimination but would like to defend their purpose to

protect residents and all others who entered Japan with the proper

procedures (Olympians and their staff are not going thru the standard

measures).

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

Sorry Hakman I didn't mean you

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So, WE are the problem as we failed to "understand" the hotel's signs. Which is odd, because the meaning was 100 percent clear to me.

Of course! Its ALWAYS the foreigners' fault. Always

14 ( +18 / -4 )

This is just the awesomely unique omotenashi in action - trying to protect their valued foreign guests from the Japanese strain infection by separating them from the locals. Foreigners should be impressed and greatful instead of misunderstanding again. sarcasm off

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Japan needs clear discrimination laws with punishments.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

If I recall the virus came from Asia. Soo..the way I look at this is they are trying to protect foreigners....from Asians spreading COVID.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

How about an “Idiots only” elevator?

That elevator would take you straight to the offices of the people who run that hotel, apparently.

and anyone else who thinks what they did is acceptable.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I would certainly not object to separate elevators for anyone who ordered the natto teishoku in the hotel's coffee shop.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There is a complete lack of awareness at how offensive this is, and a lack of accountability for the person who ordered this. They probably only changed it when a Japanese complained.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

I'd rather take the covid-free elevator!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Tokyo-EngrToday 07:00 am JST

I’m a Permanent Resident in Japan. Which elevator should I use?

You should know better than most then, whatever you do, the foreigner one, you'll always be seen as one.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

fishy:

The way they put on the signs were bad but their intention was to separate

their ordinary guests from Olympic related guests.

Well then, divide the elevators into Olympics and non-Olympics. There are Japanese who come into contact with Olympic athletes and there are non-Japanese who live here and have nothing to do with the games.

As stupid as letting Japanese entering Japan without PCR tests and demanding foreign residents of Japan take one. Oh wait, they did that for a period of time.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Good. Hefty Westerners would benefit from using the stairs.

-18 ( +6 / -24 )

I honestly don't think they were trying to discriminate against one side or the other. And that they really didn't think it through and ended up looking like idiots.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Idiot alert.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@Tora

I’m a Permanent Resident in Japan. Which elevator should I use?

The foreign one.

Considering I have not left Japan for nearly 2 years now it seems you believe that foreigners are more infectious than Japanese (those with Japanese blood). It would also seem you have no education in science or an anything significant for that matter to make such an ignorant and unscientific statement.

Do you work for the hotel or are you in Nagatacho as an LDP employee?

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Well then, divide the elevators into Olympics and non-Olympics.

Agreed.

Another solution which I believe should have been taken is to reserve the entire accommodation facility solely for Olympic visitors. Where is the bubble strategy? It seems to have already been breached.

Other than anti-virus measures, the high level of separation should be made and kept for security reason.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

A lot of hate for a poorly worded bad idea done with good intentions.

It must be because you all have been locked up in your houses for so long. Get out and do something fun for a change!

-16 ( +7 / -23 )

The Hotel should be named and shamed , as I would definitely not stay in such a place where management allows such racism and discrimination to t exist. By the way is there a "Japanese Only" Covid Variant existing infecting only Japanese?

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Pukey2

I agree with you.. they should have put 'olympics" and 'non olympics".

and that was their original intention.

but then again, the way they put (japanese and foreigner) totally failed.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I would have walked straight up and used the Japanese Only elevator. Sometimes pushing a few buttons brings out the best in people.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Use the contact form on their website to tell them directly what you think...

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Sorry, the inquiry form on their site. It’s anonymous

2 ( +6 / -4 )

After you check in, the servants elevator is at the rear of the building.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Living for the swarm of new 1-star Google reviews.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Haters gonna hate.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Not surprised at all.

The leopard cannot change its spots.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Ok, what if you are a Japanese passport holder but also a foreigner, I suppose you get to choose.

It is the inconvenience and headache working out the protocol.

I am half, so maybe I should go for the J only.

Hang on, the other half is English/Welsh maybe I should plumb for the foreigner option.

No wait I have a Japanese passport. I know go indigenous hold the passport in the air.

No that's loony.

Humm, i got it find move to another hotel.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Just visited their homepage.

The show a picture of spam being cooked on a teppanyaki girl. What a lovely 4 star hotel. GTFO.

They just should have had the sign say IOC guests.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Google maps and review one ⭐.

This should not be accepted.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Somebody, a team maybe came up with the lunacy, the most toxic PR craziness anyone could dream up.

So name, shame and sack.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Pre-covid there have always been bars and other establishments that banned foreigners because of "language differences" or "cash system" or...something.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The measure was based on guidelines provided by the organizing committee of the Olympics and Paralympics to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the officials said.

But then the measure was too simple to be lame.

Started a new problem...Good Luck with new measure for discrimination.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I got a lot of negative votes just the other day when I pointed out that when I arrived in Japan over 30 years ago this sort of thing was fairly common in hotels, fusosan, restaurants, onsens, sento, etc..and that it got way better (actually becoming fairly rare) but that recently I have started to see a resurgence of such signs and practices.

Well here we are, and again the "we didn't mean to offend or discriminate" "it is just that.....( fill in the appropriate excuse)".

13 ( +19 / -6 )

I’m a Permanent Resident in Japan. Which elevator should I use?

I’ve got PR and had two hits of Pfizer. I’d enter the “Japanese only” elevator.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The signs should have said 'international guests' and 'domestic guests'. But no doubt any Japan resident who is not ethnically would encounter resistance from the staff.

I encounter the same thing every time I come back into the country and go through passport check. Being forced by insistent airport staff to line up with the gaijins despite explaining to them in Japanese that I have permanent residence.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

I find most of these problems to be a result of a lack of language skills, and understanding of western values.

I remember in Okinawa there was a bar that had the “Japanese Only” sign, but it turned out the owner just meant to say the staff only spoke Japanese.

This Elevator probably would not have been an issue if it was worded “overseas visitors” and “local residents” and the overseas visitors applied to Japanese nationals who reside or recently spent time overseas.

Discriminatory still, but not as “offensive.”

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Haters gonna hate.

I don’t believe it’s a matter of “hate”. It’s more a matter of retarded development. It’s found around the world. And this hotel’s policy should not be taken as universal in Japan (not uncommon, but not universal).

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

its very simple just boycott this hotel for good to show them their real intension....

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Wow the excuse machine for what is clearly a xenophobic reaction is amazing!

The signs should have said 'international guests' and 'domestic guests'. 

Etc....

The fact that most if not all those staying in such a hotel will more than likely be coming from a country that is far ahead of Japan in vaccination and that it is more likely the international guest have had their full vaccination and been tested multiple times, while the Japanese have probably never been tested and are far more likely to not be vaccinated yet.

But hey keep up the excuses and nothing will ever change.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Separate but equal?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Foreigners and Japanese? They seem to be forgetting that some of the Olympic athletes are Japanese too. Which elevator are they supposed to go in?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Actually. Seems sensible. As the posts confirm by the tenor of their comments 

And the excuse machine drones on!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I'd rather take the covid-free elevator!

the irony is many of the Olympic athletes and others have already been vaccinated and all have been tested as they arrive in Japan,so the foreigner elevator is most likely the least contagious of the two.

So if I had a choice itd be the gaijin elevator / covid free elevator

11 ( +13 / -2 )

After analyzing the comments, it’s obvious that many of you are becoming angry and aggressive very fast and for a ‘reason’ that isn’t any. You can even use any of the two elevators and nothing happens. They won’t open the door and throw you out if you had used the ‘Japanese only’ one. You should be very lucky, that they have let you in anyway and even let use you a hotel and elevator. In normal circumstances, such quickly tempered and aggressive people are immediately taken into custody and sent back to whatever real or mental war zone they stem from right at the airport’s immigration. lol

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

Large corporations (especially in hospitality) should employ at least one native english speaker to oversee documents and signs written in english. The poor intern assigned the task is toast.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It’s sad that this is the only reason there is a problem with it.

Some Japanese guests have asked the hotel whether they were prohibited from using elevators marked as for "foreigners only," they said.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

one of the officials said, adding, "We apologize for having caused misunderstanding."

"We apologize for being complete dicks about this."

There. I fixed it.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@Sven Asai

You seem to be missing the point.

It isn't will they enforce the rule, it is that they even though it would be acceptable to have such a thing.

The 3 sentos near my place now have no foreigner signs not " Japanese only" as some have tried suggesting is to say they only speak Japanese.

No big sign "NO FOREIGNERS" other places have started to do the same.

I haven't seen this sort of thing in years and not in such large numbers since way back over 30 years ago when I first arrived in Japan.

I know these sentos and stores, I have used them on many occasions but am now no longer welcome.

When I asked the owners why, they said " WE know you but others don't and they are worried about foreigners spreading the virus" they were quite direct about it.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

@Blacklabel

It’s sad that this is the only reason there is a problem with it.

Some Japanese guests have asked the hotel whether they were prohibited from using elevators marked as for "foreigners only," they said.

My wife (Japanese) said the exact sanme thing to me this morning and she shares your sentiment.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Same goes at the real estate agency.

"Sorry, no foreigners."

0 ( +5 / -5 )

My wife (Japanese) said the exact sanme thing to me this morning and she shares your sentiment.

yeah the only reason we hear about this is not because of the discrimination against gaijins.

its because Taro Suzuki got mad and said "hey why do gaijins get their own elevator?"

Ive come to terms with this kind of thing decades ago in Japan. its good for a chuckle, then move on through the day. shared this with several of my Japanese friends today and we had a good laugh about it.

I still have Japanese friends who think I know every gaijin in Japan. someone is in the news, its like "you know him, right"? Taken in the right frame of mind, its kinda cute and innocent way of thinking.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Tokyo-EngrToday  07:13 am JST

Just disgusting and narrow minded on so many levels. Also totally ignorant.

What next? Are they going to require Japanese of Korean descent to carry 'pass cards' again? This is discriminatory and utterly stupid. Boycott the hotel!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

only intended to separate the flow of movements of guests

Always misunderstanding the goodness of Japanese intention.

Forgive us gaijins (outside persons) for being heathens. I try not to be the dumbest person in the room with Japanese people, but I'd have dissented against separating the elevators and would have been told with an overly serious grimace...you can't understand Japanese mind or the kokoro of Nippon.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Sven, your post misses the point. Separation is bigotry, it can't be excused for its ignorance nor its intention. If you can't see the bigotry, whatevs.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Sven Asai

After analyzing the comments, it’s obvious that many of you are becoming angry and aggressive very fast and for a ‘reason’ that isn’t any. 

I do not see the aggressiveness here that you are referring to. At the risk of being branded "aggressive" I will again state this policy is foolish and illogical and not based on any scientific reason.

This is starting to make news overseas. Just another blemish on the Tokyo Olympics I guess.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

@sunfunbun The point is, that it is much ado about nothing. No one is really separated and no one is hurt or affected by this. The other point, and of course I wrote about it, that many are highly aggressive and insisting about that little nothing in a hotel wherever. It is even taken into the media and amplified, for nothing. If you even can’t stand some wrongly affixed words at an elevator and feel immediately tempered, get aggressive, think you’re separated, harassed , bullied as a foreigner or anything like that, than you should visit a doctor you trust, and consider that Japan might not be the right country to be for you. They often make such little errors or have wrong English translations and all such. If you love the country here you know that beforehand or can easily adopt to it. But it seems, many can’t and are not willing to.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Actually. The sign seems sensible. As the posts by foreigners confirm, by the tenor of their comments which a not so dissimilar and most peculiar prejudice, considering the individuals penning such, reside in Japan.

My Japanese wife and 2 mixed adult children read your comments and asked if you are serious?

Even they understand what is really going on.

My children in particular get very frustrated with Foreigners that seem to always come up with some excuse to justify discrimination in Japan and trust me they have no language barriers, no cultural barriers or " misunderstanding" but they sure know what discrimination is having been on the receiving end of it all their lives.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

This is a welcome sight that needs to be done everywhere.

Fully vaccinated foreigners must be protected from the many unvaccinated Japanese, who, through no fault of their own but that of an inefficient government, are still a danger as carriers and spreaders of Covid 19 and its numerous variants.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I’m always ready to call out Japan (or any country) for discriminatory practices, signs, etc., but honestly this particular case just seems like clumsiness and failure to read the air, as they say.

Put it this way, I would certainly not boycott a hotel over something like that.

The great thing about having lots of hotels is that people who wish to boycott a hotel can.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Oh, Japan. The comedic hits keep coming.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Sven, I get elevators itself isn't a big deal on the surface, but this is a case of bigotry and Japan continually has a problem with ignoring things that need to be reflected upon, and the claim of 'oops, I didn't know' or foreigners not understanding the Japanese way becomes a tepid, lazy and irritating excuse.

My problem with it is they can be very close minded and because of it, cannot critical think, because 'their way is their way', thus ignoring information as merely a narrative or something to cherry pick. It limits Japanese growth and development of the mind, and I end up feeling sorry for Japan and her people as stifled beings with huge potential and intelligence that is censored by stupidity.

Discrimination is excused all the time to ignorance or shoganai, and as a foreigner living in Japan, I'd like to see Japan develop into an information based logical and open minded people, but as is, Japan stagnates because of things like this elevator shows a lack of advancement in comprehending bigotry.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

No intention to discriminate in our discrimination ... lollllll

4 ( +7 / -3 )

This is infuriating.

Drafting my email to send to them asking if their entire staff is vaccinated. Then, will put together my response to their reply asking which elevator their non-vaccinated staff is allowed to use.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Hmmmm... considering the low vaccination rate for Japan (no fault of the Japanese) and the higher rate for many other nations, perhaps travellers are more safe NOT riding the elevator with Japanese...!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Whoever wrote the sign and their superiors will also be responsible for whatever Olympics Covid distancing bubble is supposed to be in operation at this hotel.

The Olympics is famed for its telephone directory-thick rulebook about how things must be done. Micromanaging on steriods. This level of disorganization and incompetence, all the sign had to say was "IOC kankeisha nomi", suggest that there is no Covid-related micromanaging by the local organizing committee, just people in a completely novel situation trying to do their best. No guidance and no rules equal no bubble. That's just a word they are using in press conferences to deflect questions.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I’m a Permanent Resident in Japan. Which elevator should I use?

> What about those with tokubetsu eijuken such as Koreans who were born in Japan? Which elevator? Also stairs?

The foreigners’ elevator. The dichotomy is simple: Japanese passport holders use the Japanese elevator and the non-passport holders use the foreigners’ elevator.

The simplistic dichotomy does nothing to alleviate the repugnance.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@Tokyo-EngrToday

I’m a Permanent Resident in Japan. Which elevator should I use?

we expats have to use the stairs or some kind of rope!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This is one of the many - misogyny, racist, incompetency - anecdotes that will make the Tokyo 2020 unforgivable.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

It is hilarious watching some here bend over backwards to find some reason to say there is nothing wrong.

Excuses from "language" misunderstanding, "Cultural" misunderstanding and even going so far as claiming they saw and removed a "Foreigners only" as if that has any thing to do with this.

No folks this is the result of a government and news trying for over a year to pretend that covid is a problem caused by and is a danger from Foreigners.

Live with that fact

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Being forced by insistent airport staff to line up with the gaijins despite explaining to them in Japanese that I have permanent residence.

Can't say I've ever had that experience.

The first time I re-entered Japan after gaining PR many many years ago, I queued up in the non-Japanese line, only to be told when I got to the desk and handed the immigration officer my passport that should be in the Japanese line. Since then I've always used the Japanese line, and had no problems at all. And it's not as if anyone looking at me would ever mistake me for Japanese.

whatever Olympics Covid distancing bubble is supposed to be in operation

As far as I can gather, the so-called bubbles are BINOs (bubble in name only). I read somewhere (can't find the link now, it might have been on paper, I do remember it was in Japanese) about how Japanese volunteers will be going in and out of the bubbles on a daily basis.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

they could of just put sign asking if you are big smell gaijin then take this elevator, or if you are one of us then take that one. whats the confusion?

sarcasm btw

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Words matter. The key to this problem is in the word gaijin.

Until this word is removed from the Japanese language this kind of issue will never go away. Replace it with the word for people. Quickly.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

"had no intention to discriminate" against foreigners, and the notices were only intended to separate the flow of movements of guests related to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games from that of general guests, one of the officials said, adding, "We apologize for having caused misunderstanding."

This is a major fail on so many levels..

If they did not intend to discriminate, then surely they might have thought that it could be phrased quite differently. After all, these are not children playing in a sandbox somewhere.

But, the absolute icing on the cake is the style of the apology, bastardized apology- "We apologize for having caused misunderstanding.". So they are apologizing and also saying that someone who read that missunderstood? Shifting the blame?

Way to go.. Thank God it's only the 17th century. Oh wait...

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The problem is not the elevator sign in itself. It’s that most people start finding it normal again and think it makes perfect sense.

The entire set of public policies supposed to manage the coronavirus situation have been built for months on the same premises, which magically become ‘misunderstandings’ when called out.

Discriminatory practices have continued happily with the justification of culture (including a ministry talking about ‘superior culture’ which implies inferior ones) and/or interpretation of national laws until someone pointed out aggressively the problem (like for the case of foreign residents being forbidden entry for months while Japanese were going in and out smoothly without even testing).

Ultimately it is the Japanese people that will suffer the health and societal consequences of illogical choices, as well as the public shame, because yes: shame on you.

So it’s in the interest of the country and its inhabitants that we have the moral obligation to call these apparently anecdotal events, from the individual declarations of a member of the government to the hospital suggesting to avoid having meals with foreigners and this hotel’s elevators, for what they are as soon and as vigorously as possible: certainly triggered by the unique circumstances of coronavirus, these are all unmistakable manifestations of a sudden regurgitation of the worst conservative crap, which Japan has been slowly but certainly leaving in the past. And share these news with Japanese family and friends, who just don’t have the information in their bubble unless the problem directly affects them.

Because Japan is better than this.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

So many people actively looking to be offended. smh

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

@michaelqtodd

Words matter. The key to this problem is in the word gaijin.

Until this word is removed from the Japanese language this kind of issue will never go away. Replace it with the word for people. Quickly.

I am not sure that is the key to this entire problem as it seems the sign is using gaikokujin. My sister in law used to use the word gaijin. I told her many foreigners consider it offensive and said she can keep using it if she does not mind me using the shortened 3 letter word for Japanese (interesting that the Japan Today website would not allow me to enter it - blocked the post until I changed and said it is offensive - perhaps Japan Today can do the same for gaijin). She no longer uses the word. If the word is a problem then we foreigners should not use it and start the removal process ourselves.

@Thomas Tank - So many people actively looking to be offended. smh

Not really....just some people find something so obviously discriminating that they are rightfully calling this out. I actually find this more stupid than I do offensive. The stupidity is that someone seems to think that Foreigners are more likely to spread Covid (in an epidemiological sense) than Japanese or that no foreigners live in Japan. A simple apology and admitting they did not think clearly before making the sign rather than trying to push the blame somewhere else and deflect would probably have resulted in less push back.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I'll be sure to never frequent the Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

So many people actively looking to be offended. smh

"So many people actively looking to offend, then being shocked when people are offended."

There. I fixed it.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

“Bigotry against any group should be disqualifying for high office.”

Shame on you Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japan: "We were put in camps in the '40s!"

Also Japan: "That elevator is for Japanese only, no foreigners."

Ironically, this is the sort of racially charged "equity" rhetoric of two wrongs making a right that progressives are currently pushing in America.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

So many people actively looking to be offended. smh

Who needs to look?

They generally just blatantly put is people's face then fake apologise if it gets any sort of publicity.

Otherwise they would just tell us something like "this is Japan these are the rules" not unlike what the apologists and excuse makers tell us regularly.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The one star reviews on google since this story was released is staggering. ALL from foreigners. It’s amazing and sends a pretty clear message. Other reviews from japanese customers several days ago have gotten responses from management. Not one for the 1 star reviews left by plethora of intelligent foreigners speaking their minds.

Keep those one stars coming! Show them who’s boss.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Has soon as I read the head line I assumed that there is more to this. It does not say it in the item weather it was written in English or Japanese. I assume it was written in both English and Japanese and the English translation Triggered some English speaking idiot into assume it was a racist slur instead of the Hotel doing it best to protect people working for the games

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Thus the defenders of japan on here would not mind if in my home country there were elevators just for ja ps then?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@John-San

Has soon as I read the head line I assumed that there is more to this. It does not say it in the item weather it was written in English or Japanese. I assume it was written in both English and Japanese and the English translation Triggered some English speaking idiot into assume it was a racist slur instead of the Hotel doing it best to protect people working for the games.

John kun - Many of us here who find this sign to be stupid speak and read both Japanese and English. You can find the signs in several locations on the internet now. The Google maps review shows all the signs.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

When I asked the owners why, they said " WE know you but others don't and they are worried about foreigners spreading the virus" they were quite direct about it.

This is what happens when you have a government that decides to hold an event where 80k foreigners will enter from all over the world.

These people are just trying to bring some control back into their live, since their government failed them.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Good! Name and shame the racists, whenever you encounter! No excuses, blatant racism!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

This is what happens when you have a government that decides to hold an event where 80k foreigners will enter from all over the world.

No this is what happens when the government plays down the local population infections by not testing, plays up the idea the virus is a "foreign" thing and affects "foreign places".

Plays up, not the dangers of local transmission of the virus but goes on and on about keeping the visiting Athletes in a "bubble" for safety giving the impression that it is those from outside that are the danger.

The playing down of the fact all the new virus variants are already here and being spread by Japanese far more than foreigners.

The results are a population convinced they themselves are not any danger to others but the incoming foreigners are a danger to Japan.

The is the result of the governments own propaganda that the Japanese are specia, clean and the rest of the world isn't.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It neither racist or discriminatory, it displays a distinct lack of intelligence or even a ounce of common sense.

Don't let the people who thought this up, tackle anything other than polishing, hoovering or cleaning something.

Kept them away from the elevators.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Itsonlyrocknroll has the right idea:

"Ok, what if you are a Japanese passport holder but also a foreigner, I suppose you get to choose.

It is the inconvenience and headache working out the protocol.

I am half, so maybe I should go for the J only.

Hang on, the other half is English/Welsh maybe I should plumb for the foreigner option.

No wait I have a Japanese passport. I know go indigenous hold the passport in the air.

No that's loony.

Humm, i got it find move to another hotel."

I too am a Japanese citizen, but can't quite pass for a Yamada Yoshi. Yes, it's all quite silly, but it's also just one hotel. Americans in particular (not all, of course) seem very much to enjoy ranting and raving about "racism" in Japan, not realizing either how much better conditions have become here or how ugly things have become in their own country, where more than fifty-three years after the death of Martin Luther King, the term "whiteness" is being tossed around as a snarl. My guess is that "senior" staff members in the hotel came up with the idea and that their underlings lacked both the good sense and the courage to resist them. One can hope that the foolishness of it all will be understood--without anyone being sued or without anyone burning down six buildings in protest.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

What a way to welcome the world. You would think they would run that sign by a native speaker. Good luck in getting any international business or business with foreigners in Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You really would expect anyone who's lived here for any length of time to get over themselves, 'cause nothing is going to change in the way Japan deals with the outside world, or its resident representatives. I feel quite certain that non-citizens the world over harbor similar illusions that they are somehow being discriminated against. Perception is not reality.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

enolaga

They didn’t know it would be upsetting to some people because they don’t know what discrimination is

Well yes, pretty much. Japan is so blissfully unaffected by PC, victim culture, and identy politics that gaffes like this are easy to happen. You will find more if you look for it. In this case, what the hotel meant was "local residents" and "foreign visitors", but Western complainers will probably object to that too.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

I disagree with the opinion that that Japanese man who did this was not aware it was discriminatory. You’ve got to be kidding.

That Japanese man knew very well it’s discriminatory and thinks it’s okay to discriminate.

He still thinks it’s okay to discriminate. If he doesn’t discriminate, it’s only because he doesn’t want to infuriate people and cause negative publicity.

As for discrimination, that Japanese man absolutely thinks it’s okay.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Difference between the abbreviation of alphabetical expression and the one of ideograms playing totally differently in customary perception.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

had no intention to discriminate" against foreigners, and the notices were only intended to separate.... guests related to the Tokyo Olympic 

I don't discriminate... I just separate. Same difference.

That said, it's hard to blame the robots working at that hotel when the idea of treating Olympic visitors like leper patients comes from the government.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Khuniri

I just sent your comments to my 2 mixed Japanese children who forward them to other mixed friends.

The comments are coming in fast and they seem all in consensus.

Why are these foreigners and naturalised Japanese always making excuses for Japanese discrimination.

Now I cleaned up the above because the thing these young mixed ethnicity adults actually wrote would not be acceptable here.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The hotel in question has deleted all the one star reviews from foreigners in the last hour.

Got under their skin. Good stuff

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This kind of ignorant racism is all too common in Japan and it's just disturbing that it keeps happening. When are they going to learn that discrimination is not okay and that Japanese people are no different than anybody else in the world?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I kindly gave them two stars on Google reviews and my forgiveness and understanding, so the review is still up. I also asked what we should do with our son, does he come with me, goes with his Japanese mother, or we cut him in half and take a piece in each elevator?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This kind of ignorant racism is all too common in Japan and it's just disturbing that it keeps happening. When are they going to learn that discrimination is not okay and that Japanese people are no different than anybody else in the world?

When certain elements of the foreign community stop making excuses for this type of behaviour that then gives those doing it a way out without consequences.

Look here at how many are bending over backwards to make excuses for this.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

By NOW, hope JT Non-Japanese (hope sounds not too offensive) posters have realized that this happened under the guidelines of JOC/IOC to separate traffic flows within the hotel between recent visitors from overseas and residents. It is just an awkward expression that should be blamed. and You can keep laughing on that. but Party is over.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I go with the hotel making a honest mistake. They were meaning to be helpful. Has for Japanese discriminations, I have only find it fully helpful. Like when I enter the Onsen, most Japanese get out of the Onsen leaving me feeling very comfortable for a person who don't speak Japanese well. After every onsen I tell my Japanese girlfriend "It happen again" and she replies with the same quote each time. John-San maybe they feel uncomfortable because they cannot speak English well.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

For anyone who left a Google review for the hotel about the situation (of which there were many I saw earlier), they are now all gone.

I don't know how, but the hotel has managed to delete every single one of them...

This is a bit shocking. No real apology, and a cover-up to follow.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I have not been mistreated during my 30 years here. But when discrimination raises its ugly head then it needs to be confronted.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

paid millions upon millions of yen for their schooling, in taxes, etc...

I pay a million yen a month in estimated income taxes here. Never mind that that isn’t how the tax system here works; correct, Blacklabel?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Just think, too many paranoid Non-Japanese ( I am not sure what word I should use here any longer). Don't worry you would not be attacked here in Japan just because you are not Japanese

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

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