A few years ago, lawsuits by foreigners against businesses that barred their entry gained public attention, and while the litigation may have faded from memory, not so the discrimination they fought -- just see the signs.

Paul Shepherd, 41, of Britain said that when he tried to enter a nightclub staffed by foreign hostesses in Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, in mid-February, the Japanese manager refused to let him in just because he is a foreigner.

The same night, Shepherd, who speaks fluent Japanese, said he was turned away by two other hostess clubs in the city -- both boasting no-foreigner signs.