Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 16:33:29 +0900
From: Arudou Debito
Subject: Now hotels are targeting, refusing foreigners

(freely forwardable)

Hi All. Got an essay here written by Olaf Karthaus and released to the public January 19, 2005. This is how bad "JAPANESE ONLY" exclusionism is getting in Japan:

It's not just bathhouses, restaurants, shops, or apartments nationwide anymore.

Now even temporary accommodation, like hotels, are copycatting. Without even so much as another SARS scare this time.

Moreover, the Japanese police are encouraging hotels to run checks on foreign guests in the name of "anti-terrorism" (as if only foreigners are terrorists).

One Tokyo hotel (with photo confirmation) has even illegally put up "Japanese Only" signs on their front door. And written as such on their website. Read on:


By Olaf Karthaus .
Revised, retitled, and given a new ending by Arudou Debito
January 19, 2005

A friend, upon reserving a hotel (Toyoko Inn) in Sapporo a few months ago, was told on the phone that his gaikokujin touroku shoumeisho (aka gaijin card) was to be copied upon check-in. What would happen when he would refuse to have his card copied? The hotel would refuse him accommodation, was the answer.

This is illegal, according to Arudou Debito's website:
where, under the Ryokan Gyouhou Law, refusals can only happen if there is a clear threat of contagious disease, endangerment of "public morals", and if all rooms are full.

I had to stay at a hotel in Chitose or Sapporo anyway, so I figured I should try the Toyoko Inn and have a look how they treat me.

Registration via the internet was smooth. They have a very nice English web page. (<http://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/>) Confirmation of ID was either passport number, or credit card number (for the japanese side, it was drivers licence number, or credit card number). The confirmation email was in perfect English.

So, on January 18, 2005, at around 23:00 I arrived at the hotel. And indeed the lady at the front asked me if I had my passport on me. I said no. She then told me that she had to copy my gaijin card. I refused to allow her to do so (I even did not show her my card). I even gave my reasons: privacy, too much detailed information about me on the card which is not related to my identity, only the police is allowed to request to see the card (see <http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#gaijincard>)

"This is a requirement from the police (Chuo keisatsusho)," she told me. "They come every day to collect the registration cards and we attach the copy of the gaijin card to the reverse side".

She asked ,"Is it okay that I tell the police that you refused to have your card copied?", to which I replied "sure", but not knowing if the police would show up at 5 in the morning to arrest me ;-)

She was very apologetic afterwards "I feel very strange to have to ask for the gaijin card, so I understand how you feel about it."

This morning I called the Sapporo Chuo Keisatsusho (police headquarters of Sapporo city) and spoke with a Mr. Yasuda (011-242-0110). He told me that the police do indeed urge the hotels to check the identity of their customers, but regardless of nationality.

The police do not require that hotels copy the gaijin card! I asked this question twice to make sure I got the answer right. Showing a drivers licence, for example, would be enough for ID verification.

Reason given was anti-terror measures. It is completely at the discretion of the hotel, how and to what extent to enforce the ID proof, I was told by Mr. Yasuda.

Here are the problematic points:

1. The hotel is clearly over-reacting.

2. This overreaction is limited to foreigners. Foreigners are singled out as a terrorist threat.

3. Only police and immigration has the right to see (see!) the gaijin card. First, when the hotel front lady told me that the police required to copy the card, I thought that the police is "outsourcing" their powers to a private company (a hotel). This would be illegal on the side of the police.
Again, see <http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#gaijincard>

4. The hotel is on the borderline, legally speaking, by requesting to see the gaijin card. Of course I am free to show my card to anyone I want. And if somebody asks me to see the card, it is perfectly okay that I show the card out of my own free will.

We had a similar issue on The Community mailing list a while ago when it came to sports gym memberships.

Some people have no problem showing (and even having copied) their gaijin card. That is fine with me.

Point is that there is no law that *requires* you to show the gaijin card to anybody else than the police and immigration.

A drivers licence should be enough for ID. And even then I would be reluctant to show it if Japanese are not required to show ID. Payment with credit card is also a proof for ID, which is fine for me.

But the wording of the hotel front lady was as if they had a specific *order* from the police to copy the cards, which is not true. She even told me that she would have to notify the police that I did not allow the copying of my card. As if she wanted to put pressure on me to oblige.

5. Even if you do not show your card, the hotel is *bound by law* to let you stay. Good for them, that they gave me my room. But my above-mentioned friend was told that the hotel would refuse him as a guest if he chose not to show his gaijin card. This would be a violation Article 5 of the Ryokan Management Law in Japan.

So, if you get into a similar situation (and chances are high, because the increased alert about "foreign terrorists"). you should know what your rights are, and what the rights and duties of the hotel are.

To give an example, abut the increased alert: the *last three* times I stayed at a hotel (twice in December and just this Monday in Tokyo), I was asked to write down my passport number upon check-in. This has happened to me only *twice* in my previous 12 years in Japan.

6. What comes next?
Taxidrivers asking for the gaijin card?
Cinema staff asking for the gaijin card?
Sport clubs asking for the gaijin card? (oh, but we have this already!)
Restaurants asking for the gaijin card?
Onsen asking for the gaijin card? (this actually might be likely in places that formerly refused foreigners)

Or just plain refusing foreigners outright, with a sign. See
Hotel Tsubakuro
Tokyo Shinjuku-ku Hyakuninchou 1-15-33, Tel 03-3367-2896
Hotel Tsubakuro website here:
Where it says
i.e. people younger than Jr High school and foreigners are not
permitted lodging (although foreigners who live in Japan are OK).

However, it has signs up refusing all foreigners at its front door. See photos at

Beware the Beginnings.
Olaf Karthaus
January 19, 2005

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"The Community" Page

Go to the "Residents Page"

Go to the "Activists Page"



Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 19:52:23 +0900
From: Arudou Debito
Subject: ホテルも「外国人お断り」、旅館業法等違反


 皆様こんばんは。有道 出人です。いつもお世話になっとります。さて、き ょうの用件は

  ア)旅館業法第5条違反なのに、「外国人お断り」東京都新宿区百人町の ホテルは看板化とウェブサイト
  イ)札幌東横ホテルは「外国人登録証明書」を見せてコピーさせずと宿泊 拒否。係員は「北海道中央警察署からの要求」と主張。これは旅館業法第5条 違反かつ外国人登録法第十三条違反です。



 人種差別撤廃法が皆無のおかげで、日本は「外国人入店拒否」じりじりとそ れぞれの地域と業界に蔓延最中です。出典(特に入店拒否の看板の写真)は
 『外人だめ』と言う入浴施設をレストラン、バー、一般的な店などは模倣 し、宿泊先になりました。

 例えば、ビジネスホテル「つばくろ」(東京都新宿区百人町1-15-33 Tel 03-3367-2896)。当店のウェブサイトでは

一  宿泊しようとする者が伝染性の疾病にかかつていると明らかに認められるとき。
二  宿泊しようとする者がとばく、その他の違法行為又は風紀を乱す行為を する虞があると認められるとき。
三  宿泊施設に余裕がないときその他都道府県が条例で定める事由があるとき。

http://list.room.ne.jp/ ̄lawtext/1948L138.html#5

「大変申し訳ありません 当分の間 外国人の方の利用は出来ません。ビジネ スホテル つばくろ」

 以前、私はこのことについて記事を書きました。朝日新聞「私の視点」コラ ム「『外国人お断り』人種差別撤廃へ法整備を」(SARSによるホテルの恐怖 感と一律外国人客お断りの方針)2003年6月2日(朝刊、pg14)

 それに、夕べの出来事ですが、私の友達のカートハウス・オラフ氏は札幌の 東横インに泊まらせようとしました。数ヶ月前、違う友達は予約しようとした 時、「外人カード」(外国人登録証明書、財布で常時携帯しないと逮捕され る)を見せて、コピーさせてもらわないと宿泊を拒否するとフロントに言われ たようです。これはまた旅館業法違反です。病気や風紀の問題ではなく、拒否 する根拠に当りません。身分証の提出の必要性が分かるが、日本人と同様に身 分証(例えば運転免許証)にさせればいいのです。

 夕べ、カートハウス氏は札幌駅前の東横インに泊まろとしたが、クレジット カードと運転免許証を提示しても、フロントはパスポート番号と「外人カー ド」を要求しました。コピーも。カートハウス氏はプライバシーのため断りま した。なぜこれは宿泊するために必要なのと言うと、東横イン札幌の係員は 「『反テロ措置として警察署から身分証明の確認にご協力を』と言われたよう です。

 カートハウス氏は結局泊まらせてもらったが、本日05年1月19日の午前 札幌中央警察署に電話して(011-242-0110)、係員の安田氏と確認した通り、反 テロ措置のためにホテルから国籍を問わず客の身分証の確認を願っています。 でも、「外人カード」のコピーすることまで必要ではないと認めました。

 いずれに、こうやって警察署は民間会社に警察業務執行を代理を勤めさせる ことは違法行為です。なぜなら、警察以外の人が「外人カード」を要求させる のは外国人登録法 第十三条違反です。

外国人登録法 第十三条 第二項 外国人は、入国審査官、入国警備官(入管法に定 める入国警備官をいう)、警察官、海上保安官その他法務省令で定める国又は 地方公共団体の職員がその職務の執行に当たり登録証明書の掲示を求めた場合には、これを掲示しなければならない。

 ましてや、提示やコピー却下されたら、ホテルはこの根拠で宿泊拒否できな いのです。日本人と同様に身分証明を要求すればいいです。

 しかし、ホテルのみではないです。新宿区歌舞伎町のオアシススポーツクラ ブ(係員:向井氏、話し合いは02年11月27日午前)は外国人犯罪につい て警察署の指導によって「外人カード」を要求し、提示しない人は会員になり かねます。02年11月8日付の会合で、本社の係員の岩間氏もそう確認でき ました。レポート(英語)は
 よって、警察署は指導上で民間的に不法的に任務させつつあります。結局、 違法行為に至る危険性があります。ある程度牽制を与えないといけないと思い ます。

 カートハウス氏のプロフィールは http://www.geocities.com/karthauslab/indexj.html
January 19, 2005

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