soccer

'Japanese only' banner scandal hits J-League

79 Comments

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

© 2014 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

79 Comments
Login to comment

-League chairman Mitsuru Murai told Japanese media that “we will deal with it in a stern manner” if the message was proven “discriminatory.”

How can a sign that says "Japanese Only" not be viewed as discriminatory? Way to lead Chairman Murai

32 ( +34 / -2 )

Tadanari Lee? You mean the same Tadanari Lee who scored the the winning (& only) goal in the 109th minute of the final match against Australia, thus winning Japan the 2011 AFC Asian Cup title?

I wonder if these "fans" remembered to put that "Japanese only" banner at that time.

Anyways, at this point it's not known whom the banner was targeting. Hope this is properly investigated and the responsible people banned from future games. No place in football for "fans" like these.

30 ( +32 / -2 )

Urawa defender Tomoaki Makino tweeted after his team’s 1-0 loss on Saturday that “this is not the way to treat players who fight for this team with pride”. “Players and supporters cannot unite as one and produce results this way,” he wrote

I knew there was a reason I liked this guy. Very good words.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

Well, FIFA will expect significant action because racism in football is something that is taken quite seriously in other parts of the world so it will be interesting to see how Urawa and the Japanese Football Federation handle it. Sitting on their hands and saying it is 'regrettable' certainly won't cut it.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Signs like this used to be all over Shinjuku and other places upto only a handful of years ago, some places will still openly say Japanese only as you try to enter, Racism is alive and kicking in Japan and it's time that the issue was made a spectacle of, I hope this gets blown into something to embarrass these bigots into being alittle more open minded when it comes to race.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

J-League chairman Mitsuru Murai told Japanese media that “we will deal with it in a stern manner” if the message was proven “discriminatory.”

How can 'Japanese only' not be discriminatory? There isn't even room for debate on the point. This guy should be fired for incompetence. This should have been immediately condemned, and the people responsible for the signs themselves should have been removed from the stadium immediately, regardless of how much wa that disturbed.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Tamarama, I'm not so sure about that. In England it is but not so much in other parts of Europe where paltry fines and minor punishments are the norm. And it was Sepp Blatter, the President of FIFA, the world governing body, who said players subject to racist abuse should just shake hands after the game. Saying it's "regrettable" sounds like exactly the way FIFA would like it dealt with. Swept under the carpet and never mentioned again. Oh look, there's a World Cup coming soon!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Who's going to tell the Serbian coach, Mr Petrovic that he's no longer welcome at his own team's stadium?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Disgusting display of racism. Anyone who disagrees is living in a dream world. There can be no explanation for this kind of action. What if Major League Baseball did this?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Racism is a HUGE problem in European football. What you read in this article is nothing compare to the frightening scenes you see in Spain's La Liga or Italy's Serie A, where the racially-charged fan violence from hooligan elements is a threat to players on the field and fans in the stands.

As such, if they find the fans in the stands responsible for the banner, they should be permanently banned from the stadium and any fan involved that holds a season ticket have their season tickets immediately revoked. And if possible, the fans will be subject to any possible criminal prosecution.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

apparently racist banner reading “Japanese only” appeared at a weekend match.

Hate to say it, but you can see these types of signs at many of the local drinking places in Yokosuka, Roppongi, or other entertainment areas. They don't allow foreigners in at all, even when the supposed "staff" may be foreign themselves.

I know sports and drinking bars are different, but the bottom line feelings of excluding foreigners is the same whether it is at a sporting event or a drinking establishment. Some may say that the drinking establishment is a private business, and they should be able to do what they want, and I agree, but also the soccer club and stadium are private businesses also. They only let you in if you pay, same as a bar, so why is this such a big issue? The reason, it is in broad daylight for the world to see and not being done in seedy locations at night where it can be "unseen" by the public.

Japan is a land of contradictions.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

This is the banner in question. The rising sun flag also hints at the perpetrators being ultra-nationalists.

http://imgnews.naver.net/image/109/2014/03/11/201403110756777720_531e4815f2dc3_59_20140311082202.jpg

I don't know why that steward in the red jacket didn't remove the banner. It's made the news in Australia too, with risk of perception of Japan slowly changing.

This story reminded me of Russian fans of Zenit St Petersburg demanding only white players play for their club..

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Thunderbird: Amidst the noisy Korean haters and Japan bashers, has it occurred to you that on a larger scale, the general population is actually accepting if not embracing each other? I have met racist Koreans and I have met racist Japanese. But generally, those are rare in my personal circle. Heck, even those protests that Chucky loves to whip out as proof that Japan hates Korea are rare to see on a day to day basis. And believe me when I say I am down in Korea town often, stuff is pretty damn tasty.

My point is, there are bad apples everywhere and even if Korea is better at "hiding it" as you say, does that make it any less wrong?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Pandabelle: tell me, what was done about the banner during the game? Was it allowed to stay up?

I think it was taken down - I'm not sure how long it stayed up but I saw a tweet about a replacement banner with an anti-racism comment.

It was on twitter a few days ago, not sure if I can find it.

Certainly it shouldn't be tolerated and should have been removed immediately.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

How come this is not in the crime section? Right, there are no laws against racial discrimination in Japan.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Right, there are no laws against racial discrimination in Japan.

This banner is despicable and racist, but there wouldn't be a crime regardless of the laws on discrimination, only if people were prohibited from entry. It's a speech issue.

You shouldn't make illegal even disgusting, hateful speech like this, but Urawa Reds most definitely should take strong action against those who put this sign up. Ban them from the grounds.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Come in, call it what it is:

R a c i s m .

This is not "discrimination", nor unappropriate, these are racist remarks, plain and simple.

J-League chairman Mitsuru Murai told Japanese media that “we will deal with it in a stern manner” if the message was proven “discriminatory.”

Yep, I'll believe that when I see it. Most likely, mr. Murai would like to (and probably will) deal with this the old traditional Japanese way: sweep it inder the rug until it is forgotten.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

There's a big group of Nazi style right wing nationalist Japanese fans

I totally agree with Chunky for some soccer fans has become the extreme right wing group. Not only in soccer match. They hate about almost everything about Koreans. Some people protested for too much K dramas showing from J TVs. Some people protested about imported K pop are poisoning the youth.

In the french soccer team, most of the players are Africans background who are French citizens. They are well paid and adored by French fans. However Tandari has been treated with racial abuse.

My ex J girl friend smashed the Kimchi Jar I have bought from Korea. The only crime of my Kimchi jar was having Korean characters on the label. She told me she hate Koreans more than spiders and cockroaches . I feel regret about having the such a racist girlfriend before.

Racism is intolerable offence in sport.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Compare and contrast the Japanese response to the incident at the Olympics at which the Korean player displayed a "Dokdo is our land banner" and this incident.

In the first case there was mass hysteria, moaning, whining and general sour grapes from the Japanese FA with regular reports on the incident aired on NHK. In the second case there is almost no response from the Japanese FA and nothing on NHK, although it was reported in the papers this morning.

I hope the emperor, with his Korean blood, isn't planning a trip to Urawa any time soon.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Ban these scumbags from every stadium in Japan. Kick racism out of soccer.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

NHK NewsWatch9 just led off with this story. Very strong message sent out by a number of bodies that discrimination is unacceptable behaviour. Total attendance ban for the match on the 23rd is the first time in J-League history. Three fans responsible for the offending message have been banned from the stadium indefinitely.

Story finished with a message raised the following day at another game (in Gifu I think it was) which said "Say no to racism."

5 ( +5 / -0 )

why so many downvotes to the truth? who never EVER got shunned in a train or got someone crossing the street as soon as they see you coming from the opposite direction? I love Japan and Asia in general but these apologists (some don't even LIVE in Japan) can get pretty pathetic.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

This wasn't on NHK news today or last night.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"Japanese only" eh? They must want teams to be full of boring players who think they are the next Pele only to fade into obscurity after a few good seasons here and a mediocre season of two overseas, before coming back.

Probably the same kind of idiot who says that Japan has a chance of winning the World Cup every time they play well against a middle-ranked team in a friendly before the tournament.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Ban these scumbags from every stadium in Japan. Kick racism out of soccer.

Kick politics out of soccer too. Its a sport and has nothing to do with how one country treated the other country 70 years ago.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20140312-00000005-dal-socc

They're taking it pretty seriously. Looks like they might be docked in points or be forced to play a game with no fans in attendance.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Latest news on this (covered on NHK today) is that Urawa Reds have had a supporter ban imposed on them for one game. This is good news. It hurts them financially and embarrasses them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There's a sign saying "Japanese only" about 2 mins walk from where I live in Tokyo. Apparently its not racist and means "we can only speak Japanese".

3 ( +8 / -5 )

you want to convince yourself, this pal is not running away, "it's just coincidence"... but there are some sad days there are just TOO many "coincidences." A chick looking back and suddenly starting to walk faster (did she just remembered something urgent to do?), a guy waiting the pedestrian signal in a relatively dark street and as soon as he notices you, he start to walk to the other direction (or even CROSS the street after have politely waited that long-did he instantly forget his typical japanese "politeness" and crossed the red??), people doing their BEST to pretend they don't notice you (even people who prefer to stare a blank wall, the sky, any opposite direction available when you walk past them, sometimes is so pathetic that can be funny), etc.. I have to say that I have the best experiences with japaneses I know, or whom I'm about to know (some gathering, etc), but the experience is totally the opposite with strangers. Don't have to give a damn about my presence, but if you're civilized the way you say you are, don't constantly shun people in public just for being of a different colour, race.

People say koreans are racist?? Indeed they seem to be very proud and if you walk the streets of Seoul people won't even notice you (or they pretend much better than the japanese), but at least they don't shun you as if you had a contagious disease or something.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

How can this be directed at Tadanari if he IS Japanese? and why not write it in Korean. I'm confused...

taj: I saw a sign in Shinjuku just the other day saying "Japanese only" - it was some sort of "special services" establishment, so I wasn't unduly bothered. But these signs do exist, even in Tokyo.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Panda,

And that goes to show how important Twitter really is: Not at all. The Japanese society at large accepts and condones this by doing jack all about it. That some twits or facebookers oppose this with the slackeristic click of a button is unimportant in a society where no one, ever, speaks up. There needs to be a more, shall we say, physical reaction to this instead of someone seeing wrongdoings, only to do nothing, look down at their keitai and tweet out a quick message.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

'Saitama is a horrible place anyway, and this sort of thing does not even remotely surprise me.' I've been to watch Urawa Reds at home quite a few times and have never seen anything like this. Good fans who get behind their team. This is a disgrace to the club and I want to hear a club statement making that acutely clear.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

'jJapanese only'. Written in English . Nice irony .

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So it's ILLEGAL in Sports, but perfectally legal to have Japanese Only businesses all over the country ? Yes; this is the SAME Double Standard, biggotted Japan that has been around for CENTURIES....just "WE" ( Japan[ese] need to win at SPORTS, so it won't be allowed THERE.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan’s professional soccer league said Monday it was investigating after an apparently racist banner reading “Japanese only” appeared at a weekend match.

Sad. Let's hope this is a very, very small monority of fans' feelings.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

How can this be directed at Tadanari if he IS Japanese? and why not write it in Korean. I'm confused...

There's a big group of Nazi style right wing nationalist Japanese fans. They don't like any foreigners especially Korean bloods. Tanadari has Japanese citizenship but he's still mostly considered Korean in Japan. Even if you have a great great grandfather who was Korean dating back to 19th century, will still make you Korean. Don't forget about that case in Japan not too long ago, where a Japanese woman who had a great great grandfather who was Korean, which makes her 1/8th Korean, who sued a Japanese man for breaking up the engagement after he found out that she had some Korean blood in her.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

that's like the most clueless banner I have seen. What does it even mean? Only Japanese supporters? Full Japanese descendants? Only play soccer in Japan? Shout only in Japanese? Japanese music? Food? whatever.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How can this player hold BOTH Japanese and Korean nationality? I thought that everyone was only allowed one nationality, if you have Japanese? Or is this player really young?

This article is inaccurate on a couple of counts.

Lee was born in Tokyo, and holds only Japanese citizenship. He is fourth generation Japanese of Korean descent.

In any other country, he'd be considered a citizen of that country, full stop.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

chucky3176 Mar. 11, 2014 - 09:02PM JST I have looked around the Japanese media on this, and none of them have covered it as a racist issue. Just a few embarrassed blurbs that it "could be seen as racist", largely worried that this could look bad to the foreigners and to the outside world. There were no editorials condemning this as unacceptable racist behavior. Every country has this kind of racism but usually the media steps in and condemns it. But in Japan, they're more worried about how Japan is seen around the world.

But your talking about Japan. I will give you example: In Japan, there are certainly many areas where an employer may feel it is in his best interest to discriminate openly. For example there may be many competent female sales people available to an organization but if most of their customers share widespread assumptions about female sales people, then the employer may discriminate. There may be enough qualified female engineers, but technology employers may well think that they aren’t competent at any price. An employer, for image reasons, may hire the actually less talented male person because they are male. Racism doesn’t always cost the greedy man, or, at least the cost can be very hidden.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why on earth are people getting so worked up about this? Don't you believe in freedom of speech? Whatever happened to 'I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it?'

@Bill Adams - Free speech should be defended, but not at the cost of condoning hate speech or open discrimination, as in this example.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

They should have one of the foreign players kick the banner like Bruce Lee did in The Chinese Connection.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Storm, as a woman, I guess I just never approached the doors of the kinds of "special services" establishments that have those signs. There's a coffee shop near Iidabashi that changed it's "Japanese only" sign to "Only Japanese Spoken" to clarify their meaning. And they added something to the effect, "please practice your Japanese here. We don't English". I suspect that is not the intention of the sex shops you find signs at.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I suspect you're right chucky 3176. The ugliest side of Japan will be rolled up and put away for a few weeks during the Olympics. The black vans will scuttle out after the show is over. But given the high tensions in Asia, which certainly will not have gone away by 2020, how do they think they'll be able to lessen a potential nationalist clash between respective countries? This ought to be interesting. It is a strange contradiction but the most nationalistic people are the ones who most desperately feel the need for recognition in the wider world, so it is highly probable that there will be an Ultra-nationalist presence of some form from all the East Asian countries. The Olympics tends to attract that kind of thing. After all, the now obligatory lighting of the Olympic torch is not a feature of the ancient Olympiad, but made its debut at the Berlin Olympics of 1936.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Top news on NHK this evening. The Reds' next match will be closed-stadium, Reds' supporters are banned from waving any kind of banner at matches (didn't catch how long for) and the three knee-high toenails who put the banner up are banned from all Reds' matches for life.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Not sure if this is accurate:

Lee also holds Japanese citizenship.

Wouldn't he have had to revoke his South Korean citizenship, if he had it, upon taking or confirming Japanese citizenship? Either way, pretty tough for someone who was subjected to racist abuse by 'teammates' when representing South Korea at junior levels before opting to represent Japan, if selected, in the senior team. If he was the target of this ridiculous banner, there is truly no hope for Japan. I despair.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"Signs like this used to be all over Shinjuku and other places upto only a handful of years ago"

Where? I've lived in Shinjuku most of the last 20 years and never seen even one here.

I do hope that at the next occurrence, some other fans take it upon themselves to remove the offending banner and the idiots from the stadium.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Football and thugs...what a surprise.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Chucky: "Even if you have a great great grandfather who was Korean dating back to 19th century, will still make you Korean. "

Exactly, and an even better example of this is the seething response by right-wingers when the emperor said that the royal line contains Korean blood, acknowledging a royal marriage some thousand years ago or so to a Korean.

That said, Tokiyo is right; it is the view shared by radicals, and not the general populace, who embrace Korean culture in a number of ways. Still, that such signs are not derided or objected to by the general populace, and instead ignored, is a problem as well.

Anyway, the wingers on this site can no longer claim Japanese fans never do this kind of thing (as they did when signs by Korean players or chants by other nations offended Japan).

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Still, that such signs are not derided or objected to by the general populace, and instead ignored, is a problem as well.

I suspect you have not been following this on Twitter, where it has been heavily discussed for days. There are a very, very large number of Japanese Twitter users expressing their strong disapproval of such signs. This is far from being ignored or swept under the rug.

Look at what Japanese people are actually saying.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

taj

"Signs like this used to be all over Shinjuku and other places upto only a handful of years ago"

Where? I've lived in Shinjuku most of the last 20 years and never seen even one here.

I do hope that at the next occurrence, some other fans take it upon themselves to remove the offending banner and the idiots from the stadium.

Taj you used to only have to walk around the entertainment areas to see them they wern't hidden. So it seems you never really ventured past your front door in 20 years, they were all over the place.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I detest racism, we need it stamped out in all its forms.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Brazilian fans wouldn't take too kindly to racist thugs in the World Cup.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They should have one of the foreign players kick the banner like Bruce Lee did in The Chinese Connection.

Ah, another person who appreciates fine cinema. Or he could have gone into a room, knocked them all out and then made him eat the banner.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pandabelle: tell me, what was done about the banner during the game? Was it allowed to stay up? I already said it does not reflect the view of society as a whole, but that it is tolerated, and clearly it was.

0 ( +5 / -4 )

Panda belle: agreed.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

taj not only at sex shops but many clubs and hostess bars used to have those signs too .

Some clubs and hostess bars will openly refuse entry to foreigners although now the signs are gone the door men will tell you point blank no entry because you are not Japanese, not because that Japanese is the only language spoken.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

jJapanese only'. Written in English . Nice irony .

Yes, but in all fairness, it was probably spelled 'Japanizu onri-'.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Does it mean they don't want any matches against man utd, Barcelona , ac Milan (etc etc).? No ronaldo to (potentialy) sign? No messi ? No to Ferguson as manager ? No wealthy sponsors with foreign connections? And absolutely no Beckham .

Japaneseonly
0 ( +1 / -1 )

There goes chucky on and on about the weekly marches in Japan again. You are such a broken record. No wonder dialogue is so infuriating.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Discriminatory remarks and actions cannot be condoned,” it said.

Well said......

Sports bring out the best and worst in people, especially when their is nationalism in the air.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Someone pulls that on me and their going to get a foot to the face.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Racist thugs in football....who would have thought...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

'Japanese Only'. I'll bear that in mind if I run into you at the stadium. My Japanese extends to telling low-life scum what I think of them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Saitama is a horrible place anyway, and this sort of thing does not even remotely surprise me.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How can this player hold BOTH Japanese and Korean nationality? I thought that everyone was only allowed one nationality, if you have Japanese? Or is this player really young?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It makes you wonder how or why they want to have the Olympics here if foreigners are so beneath being able to attend sporting events...Granted it was a small number of people who put the banner up... But it makes you wonder what's going to happen at the Olympics with all this childish rancor coming from all sides in East Asia.

I wonder where the black vans will be parked when the Olympics rolls in? Clearly a lot of thinking will have to be done on all sides to avoid any major international incidents. The Chinese and Koreans could always boycott, but something about the need for Asian countries to continuously feel like they have to prove something to each other and the world doesn't seem like they'd be able to resist sitting out the Olympics.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It seemed to me the sign was ironic.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Knox

The Japanese society at large accepts and condones this by doing jack all about it. That some twits or facebookers oppose this with the slackeristic click of a button is unimportant in a society where no one, ever, speaks up.

Get with the program, bub. This is how people communicate in 2014. People are very strongly expressing their disagreement. That IS speaking up. Do you expect them to riot?

If you think Japanese people do not speak up, you have buried your head in the sand or are so far stuck in foreigner la-la land that you don't actually know any Japanese people. They do it ALL THE TIME.

I will be shocked if there is not action by the club if not the league on this.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

But it makes you wonder what's going to happen at the Olympics with all this childish rancor coming from all sides in East Asia.

I wonder where the black vans will be parked when the Olympics rolls in?

I'll tell you exactly what will happen, and we've seen this before during the Tokyo's Olympic biddingo when the world reps were in Tokyo to check out the place.

All the black vans were gone. The anti Korean hate marches in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, and other cities were put off (and resumed after the reps were gone). Sorry Tokiyo, I had to mention it again because it's all related.

And the same things will happen during the Olympics, they'll put away the black vans, the Japanese Only signs, the hate marches will be put off (once again, sorry Tokiyo), and everyone will be smiling and muttering "welcome to Japan".

Then once all the visitors and world press are gone, it's business as usual.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The banner should read "Idiots Only".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well, FIFA will expect significant action because racism in football is something that is taken quite seriously in other parts of the world so it will be interesting to see how Urawa and the Japanese Football Federation handle it. Sitting on their hands and saying it is 'regrettable' certainly won't cut it.

Yes of course, FIFA is doing 'so much' to combat racism in soccer compared to Japanese

http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/world/story/response-to-squash-racism-from-football-soccer-sport-truly-alarming-110213

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Just like I said about how poorly Japanese media have covered this topic, this writer is verifying everything I wrote about the Japanese media. Proves everything I said, is true.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2014/03/12/issues/j-league-and-media-must-show-red-card-to-racism/#.UyIUsj-mySo

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Compare and contrast the Japanese response to the incident at the Olympics at which the Korean player displayed a "Dokdo is our land banner" and this incident.

It was a player in the Olympic games. Not a banner on the stands on a league game but it happened when the world watched so don't compare those two things as they're completely different.

I hope the emperor, with his Korean blood, isn't planning a trip to Urawa any time soon.

Go back to your Korean sentry forum or whatnot.

I think it was taken down - I'm not sure how long it stayed up but I saw a tweet about a replacement banner with an anti-racism comment.

It was hung by the start of the second half and withdrawn after an hour.

Don't forget it was 'goru no ura' area where the hottest fans from the core groups of supporters sit. Many crazy guys there, just like in all of the other parts of the world. Reds are biggest club in Japan with around 40k supporters on the stands every game. I don't mean I like it but it's easier to find a guy like that in a 40k crowd which would make up a small town rather than any other stadium in Japan where it exists but in 'verbal' form and you'll find it hard to sit around the core supporters behind the goal if you don't speak fluent Japanese and know some guys there well.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

J-League chairman Mitsuru Murai told Japanese media that "we will deal with it in a stern manner" if the message was proven "discriminatory."

The Japan Football Association had no immediate comment.

JFA most likely does not have a comment because Japan Professional Football League is in charge of J League. Adding such a line to the news is rather misleading.

It is just like adding, "PM Abe had no immediate comment on this discrimination case." or "US President Obama had no immediate comment on this discrimination case."

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I have looked around the Japanese media on this, and none of them have covered it as a racist issue. Just a few embarrassed blurbs that it "could be seen as racist", largely worried that this could look bad to the foreigners and to the outside world. There were no editorials condemning this as unacceptable racist behavior. Every country has this kind of racism but usually the media steps in and condemns it. But in Japan, they're more worried about how Japan is seen around the world. And I've never seen any Japanese media stepping in to condemn the weekly hate marches against Koreans in Tokyo and Osaka. They all ignore this story and treat it as if nothing is wrong. It's as if there's a big one collusion in the media not to cover these stories because it makes Japan look bad to the world. This is why Japan's lurch to the right wing is unstoppable.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

The boo's and whistles rained down on Lee Tanadari, yeah the sign was for him. Nobody questioned his nationality when he scored the winning goal for Japan in Asian Cup 2011.

Wouldn't he have had to revoke his South Korean citizenship, if he had it, upon taking or confirming Japanese citizenship? Either way, pretty tough for someone who was subjected to racist abuse by 'teammates' when representing South Korea at junior levels before opting to represent Japan, if selected, in the senior team. If he was the target of this ridiculous banner, there is truly no hope for Japan. I despair.

Lee Tanadari is fourth generation ethnic Korean whose parents held South Korean citizenship. He didn't represent South Korea at junior level, he was cut after attending training camp. The Korean papers said that some team mate of his at the training camp called him a "half j*p" and that was the reason why Lee decided to become Japanese citizen. I doubt that. He probably badly wanted to make the national team and compete, and Japan's team offered the best chance.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Why on earth are people getting so worked up about this? Don't you believe in freedom of speech? Whatever happened to 'I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it?'

My only reaction to this banner was to laugh at the sheer contradiction of writing 'Japanese only' in English!!

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

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

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites