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November 1, 2005

"Japanese Only" Signs Prohibit Foreigners in Stores, Pubs, Hotels (Updated)

Topics: International News
(Image via Lost Budgie)

Apparently, a group of non-Japanese residents and/or naturalized citizens of Japan are about to launch a class action suit against the National Government of Japan alleging racial discrimination. Despite being a signatory (since 1995) to the UN Convention on Racial Discrimination, Japan has taken no legislative action to bar businesses and other public places from refusing entry to customers based on nationality and race.

Lost Budgie has more...

Related: "Racism is bad business" - Just how long does the Japanese government think it can get away with no redresses for discrimination, including a law against racial discrimination? Can it merely coast along on half-measures while prejudicial policies spread nationwide?

Update from Harry Owens (via email):

Japan also has "foreigner only" areas. Yes, many nightclubs frown upon American patrons. Japan, realizing the economic difference between Americans and Japanese, often only allow Americans into their "one ticket" establishments.

By "one ticket," I refer to establishments that charge a hefty cover charge, but most of the beverages and finger foods are free. American beers or imported beers are an extra cost. If you drink the local Japanese beers or beverages (they are fantastic!), your evening truly is free. Tokyo is not a town where you go "bar hopping," unless you remain within the "foreigner only" area.

Keep in mind that many first class establishment are owned by the large corporations and act as their private winding down areas. For these establishments, there is no cover charge and the drinks and food are charged to the company's expense account. Naturally, if you are not employed by the company, you are not permitted to enter.

Japan's entertainment industry is somewhat different from America. It takes a while to get accustomed. But, once you learn the oddities, you can have a good time for little cash outlay. You might actually find it more accommodating to your pocket book. Japanese prefer paying one fee for the entire evening. Americans like to pay as you go.

Many of those "Japanese only" signs are designed to protect foreigners. You can imagine a foreigner walking into a Japanese pub, ordering a beer and some peanuts and being charged $100.00. So, he leaves that bar and runs into the same treatment at the next club. The reason is that the $100.00 at the first pub was the fee for an entire evening of drinking and finger foods.

Posted by Richard at November 1, 2005 10:32 PM

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