11th December 2023 – (Tokyo) In a recent incident, a Chinese male influencer in Japan sparked a heated debate after he was denied entry to a Chinese restaurant in Tokyo. The influencer, shared a video on social media titled “Chinese and Korean People Prohibited from Entering Japanese Restaurant? Unacceptable!” The video showed a notice posted on the restaurant’s door, explicitly stating that Chinese and Korean individuals were not allowed inside. The influencer confronted the restaurant staff, who responded with derogatory remarks and ordered him to leave. Outraged by the discriminatory attitude, the influencer promptly contacted the police.
Upon the arrival of the authorities, the influencer pointed out the hate speech and violation of laws related to nationality, urging the police to take action. However, the police explained that they could not force the restaurant to remove the discriminatory notice as it ultimately depended on the establishment’s willingness to comply. Frustrated by this response, the influencer argued that such treatment constituted discrimination and potentially escalated into a diplomatic issue if left unaddressed.
Despite the influencer’s claims, the police reiterated their limited authority in this matter. They conveyed the influencer’s concerns to the restaurant, but ultimately, the decision to remove the notice remained with the establishment. Furthermore, the police advised the influencer to avoid the restaurant and requested that he leave the premises.
The video quickly garnered attention online, sparking discussions among netizens. Opinions varied, with some expressing support for the influencer and condemning the discriminatory actions, while others believed that the restaurant had the right to choose its clientele based on personal preferences. Some even suggested that the issue was blown out of proportion for the sake of gaining social media popularity.
The male influencer, known for sharing videos about Japan on social media, particularly focusing on Japanese cuisine, has a substantial following of 1.3 million fans. He has previously uploaded videos discussing political matters in Japan, including one addressing the issue of nuclear wastewater discharge.
It is worth noting that the restaurant’s actions violated Japan’s anti-discrimination laws, which prohibit any form of discrimination or inequality based on nationality, origin, race, gender, religion, or disability. By explicitly prohibiting Chinese and Korean individuals from entering, the restaurant’s sign infringed upon the rights of specific ethnic groups and contravened anti-discrimination legislation. However, the current regulations do not impose penalties for such violations, except in the case of Kawasaki City, near Tokyo, which has implemented specific measures to combat discrimination and can impose fines of up to 500,000 Japanese yen (approximately HK$26,816).