Tokyo hotel apologises for ‘Japanese Only’ elevator signs ahead of Olympics

A hotel in Tokyo found itself in the line of fire after display signs on its elevator triggered racism row. The hotel put up ‘Japanese only’ and ‘foreigners only’ signs on elevators ahead of Games after Tokyo 2020 organisers asked hotels to ensure that the movement of guests related to the Games were separated from others staying at the hotel.

Soon after the signs went viral on the internet, the hotel came under a barrage of criticism for discriminating against foreigners. The signs triggered harsh criticism on social media. The owners of the hotel were forced to issue an apology for the signs, which have since been removed. A hotel official told Reuters that they tried to make it easy to understand but ended up causing misunderstanding. The hotel is now discussing with its headquarters what expression to use instead. An official of the hotel in question, Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu, apologised for the incient. “We apologize for having caused misunderstanding,” adding, “… had no intention to discriminate against foreigners”. The move was apparently made to to step up anti-coronavirus measures ahead of the Olympics, but after the hotel was criticised for the ‘inappropriate’ sign it was removed, hotel officials said Sunday.