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What do you think about businesses that prohibit the entry of foreign — or Japanese — customers?

by Jon Mitchell

Saki Kowan
University student, 18 (Japanese)
Entry to a bar shouldn’t be related to whether you’re Japanese or a foreigner — it should depend on your behavior. I try to avoid clubs with that type of policy and only give them my business if I really, really have to.


Martin Mac
Bar owner, 45 (Irish)
I don’t agree with these policies. Whether it’s Japanese businesses banning foreigners or vice versa, they’re both a form of racism. When it comes to my bar, I have no problems about letting anyone come in. It’s for the public — that’s why it’s called a pub.


Ikari Ishihara
Music teacher, 36 (Japanese)
From the perspective of a business owner, I think they’re smart. You need to target your customers. It’s no different from cell phone companies which launch discount campaigns that are only for students. It’s the company’s right to choose.


Ai Nohara
Christian pastor, 40 (Japanese)
It’s quite offensive to me. You shouldn’t categorize people by race or nationality. Perhaps making a dress code is OK, but these owners shouldn’t stereotype people.


Victor Sitlani
Clothes shop owner, 59 (Indian)
I can understand why some bars had these signs in the past when American servicemen were wilder, but nowadays there’s no need for them. I feel uncomfortable when I see them. They’re not fair to everyone.


Steve Bearkheimer
Restaurateur, 46 (American)
Sometimes the reasons why clubs turn away foreigners are legitimate: There are no English-speaking staff so they can’t talk to foreign customers. Often, American military try to pay in dollars, too. Personally, I wouldn’t go to any place with a policy like that.

Tired of vox pops from Tokyo? Interested in gathering views in your local area? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp