Restaurant in Tokyo Puts ‘No Entry for Chinese and Koreans’ Signs – Here’s Why
① Japanese Restaurant Prohibits Entry to Koreans and Chinese
A Tokyo-based Chinese restaurant has ignited controversy by implementing a policy of barring entry to both Chinese and Korean customers. Signs displaying the messages “No Entry for Chinese” and “No Entry for Koreans” were prominently displayed at the restaurant’s entrance.
On the 14th, a Chinese YouTuber reported on this discriminatory practice, revealing that he was denied entry to the restaurant despite his intentions to dine there. Following his experience, a well-known Chinese blogger visited the establishment and was similarly turned away.
Upon questioning the restaurant owner about the discriminatory policy, the owner responded by making derogatory remarks, referring to the customers as “disgusting Chinese” and insisting that they depart from the premises. Notably, the restaurant owner was attired in clothing adorned with Japanese and Chinese flags.
In response to this incident, the blogger took action and reported the discriminatory establishment to the local police. However, the responding officer expressed an inability to forcibly remove the offensive signage, promising only to communicate the complaint to the restaurant and seeking understanding.
Unsatisfied with this response, the blogger escalated the matter further by contacting the Chinese Embassy in Japan and the Japanese Ministry of Justice.
Subsequently, the Chinese restaurant faced legal charges for its discriminatory practices and chose to shut down its operations just two days after the initial incident.
Following a brief closure, the restaurant owner removed the offensive signs. Nevertheless, new displays were at the entrance, including a photo combining Chinese President Xi Jinping with the cartoon character Winnie the Pooh and a sign advocating for Hong Kong’s independence.
The restaurant owner had initially cited concerns about the COVID-19 virus as a justification for banning entry to Koreans and Chinese. This development has understandably elicited anger and resentment from the Korean community upon learning these events.
② Strong Criticism Towards Japan Continues
The individual who initially reported the restaurant owner’s discriminatory behavior is a famous blogger, boasting a follower count exceeding one million. Once the video showing the discrimination against Chinese customers within the restaurant surfaced on social media, it triggered an outpouring of anger among the Chinese community. The blogger criticized this act as a manifestation of discriminatory hatred directed towards a specific country.
Presently, Chinese individuals are recording themselves while visiting the restaurant to stage protests or voice their grievances directly to the establishment. As these videos continue circulating, a Chinese YouTuber has remarked, “While the actions of this restaurant owner are discriminatory, the activities of YouTubers may not effectively safeguard the rights of Chinese residents in Japan.” He expressed concern that these confrontational videos could contribute to negative social perceptions. Despite such sentiments, the Chinese community’s anger has not waned.
The repercussions of this incident have begun to extend within Japan. The restaurant in question, known as 西太后, specializes in Chinese cuisine. Some Japanese individuals have taken to social media to express their support for the restaurant owner. They are publicly thanking the proprietor while making derogatory comments about the Chinese.
The conflict between Chinese and Japanese individuals has also spilled onto Google Maps. Japanese users have been leaving comments in Chinese, stating sentiments like, “The dining environment is truly splendid, especially without Chinese customers,” “The food is exquisite, and the owner courageously rejects troublesome customers,” “Please keep up the excellent work, owner,” and “I can dine here with peace of mind because they don’t cater to Chinese.”
西太后 has been operating for over three decades and enjoys a strong reputation in Tokyo. It has even garnered attention through television appearances and is rumored to be a favored dining establishment among celebrities.
③ Tensions Rise Once Again After Radioactive Water Discharge
This incident has reignited a war of words between the Chinese and Japanese, adding to the already tense relations between the two countries. The recent boycott movement against Japan by Chinese citizens, sparked by concerns over the discharge of radioactive water in Fukushima, has further escalated emotions. One Chinese restaurant owner even posted a video of demolishing his establishment and discarding Japanese products in protest.
Chinese individuals have also initiated call campaigns to express their discontent with Japan. The Japanese government has responded by expressing regret to the Chinese government and urging them to ensure the safety of Japanese citizens in China.
The perception of China among the Japanese population has noticeably deteriorated. According to a survey conducted in Japan, a significant 92.2% of Japanese respondents expressed a “bad impression of China.” This represents an approximately 5% increase in negative sentiment compared to the previous year. This survey has been conducted annually since 2005, and the current negative response rate towards China among Japanese citizens is approaching the levels seen in 2014 when it reached a record high of 93.0%. This suggests a significant worsening of perceptions.
The emotional conflict between Chinese and Japanese citizens arising from the radioactive water discharge issue appeared to have subsided. Still, this latest incident of refusing entry to Chinese individuals has reignited tensions, and its aftermath is expected to persist.
By. Min Jae Kim