OSAKA – An American living in Kyoto Prefecture filed a damages suit Monday, saying he was denied entry to an Osaka shop because he is black.
The man, a designer living in the town of Seika, filed the 1.5 million yen suit with the Osaka District Court.
According to the suit, as the man was about to enter the shop with a non-Japanese friend, the operator shouted at him in Japanese: “Get out. I hate black people.”
The operator used the word “kokujin,” meaning black person, when denying the man entry, the suit says. The American initially did not understand the meaning of the term.
He later returned to the shop with his Japanese wife to ask why he was denied entry. The operator said he had received a phone call from someone complaining that entry to the shop had been blocked because “two strange people” were outside its entrance, according to the lawsuit.
The American is claiming mental anguish as a result of malicious racial discrimination. His lawyer said the operator has denied the allegation against him.
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