A hotel has sparked outrage for reportedly having a ‘Japanese Only’ sign in the elevator.
The Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu, in central Tokyo, has now released a statement insisting there was ‘no intention to discriminate’.
“We tried to make it easy to understand but ended up causing misunderstanding,” an official told Reuters.
The hotel’s spokesperson added that the signs had been put up to prevent the spread of Covid-19, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
Organisers reportedly advised the establishment to separate guests attending or participating in the Games.
Despite the explanation, the hotel has received harsh criticism on social media for the signs, with one Twitter user saying: “Apartheid has been revived in Japan.”
Another added: “The virus has nothing to do with nationality.”
A third tweeted: “Wtf is this? Disgusting. You could technically sue them. So backwards.”
The hotel said it is now working to ‘strengthen internal systems’ to prevent incidents like this from happening again.
As the Olympics draw closer, Japan’s Prime Minister has been forced to announce a state of emergency, as there’s an influx around the globe with coronavirus cases.
Last week, it was confirmed that the Olympic torch relay would be cancelled, as people feared it would encourage large crowds to gather. Plus there will be no spectators at the events.
Japan has not experienced the staggeringly high coronavirus cases seen elsewhere around the world. It has recorded 815,440 cases and nearly 15,000 deaths so far, but Tokyo alone recorded 614 new cases on June 11.
Despite recovering from an initially slow vaccine rollout, only about 28 percent of the Japanese population has received at least one vaccination due to current supply issues.
Words by Emily Brewster
Check out our Video of the Day below…