Tokyo hotel under fire for ‘Japanese only’ sign in lifts
A hotel in Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, has been forced to apologize for attempting to separate visitors from using the same lift with locals.
The Akasaka Hotel Tokyu had erected signs directing users of the lift to the ‘Japanese only’ and ‘foreigners only’ sections, in a move the management envisaged will help stop the spread of Covid-19 ahead of the 2020 Olympics.
But instead, the management of the facility has been forced to deny claims it is discriminating against foreigners.
The hotel officials say it separated the flow of movements of guests related to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games from that of general guests and apologized for causing misunderstanding among the people.
The official, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject, said there was no intention to discriminate against foreigners.
“We tried to make it easy to understand but ended up causing misunderstanding,” the official said. He said the signs were removed on Sunday morning and the hotel was now discussing with its headquarters what expression to use instead.
In a racist, xenophobic, and clueless move, #Tokyo’s Akasaka Excel Tokyu hotel has established separate elevators for “foreigners” and “Japanese” #COVID19 measures should be based on public health, not race,nationality, or ignorance. #Japan pic.twitter.com/PIGiUrDY3A
— Marc Yanofsky (@MarcYanofsky) July 11, 2021
Amid the rising cases, Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga put Tokyo under its fourth Covid-19 state of emergency on Monday in an effort to control the spread of Covid-19 cases, reported Japan Times.
Suga on July 8 made the decision to place Tokyo under the fourth state of emergency for the entire duration of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020.
The Tokyo Olympics have been already postponed once last year due to the unprecedented outbreak of coronavirus and are now set to take place from July 23.
Japan has not seen the explosive coronavirus outbreak seen elsewhere but has recorded more than 815,440 cases and nearly 15,000 deaths. Tokyo alone recorded 614 new cases on Sunday, the 22nd straight day of week-on-week gains.
Japan’s vaccination rollout got off to a slow start and although it later accelerated, supply glitches are causing it to stumble. Only about 28% of the population have received at least one vaccine shot.