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Hi Blog. Last week I received the following information from around the internet (h/t to GG, WX, XY, and YZ) and about a “Japanese Only” establishment that put up some exclusionary signs. Their report follows, my comment comes at the very end.
Subject: Foreign people are forbidden sign in Nagasaki
Date: April 16, 2021
[anonymized and edited for brevity]
I’m XY, who shared the racist signs outside a restaurant in Nagasaki on Facebook this week. GG, an old friend, tells me that he contacted you about the signs and that you’d like more information. Another long-term resident, WX, originally posted the photos on Tuesday on Facebook and I shared them, as did YZ. The signs were still there as of yesterday.
The restaurant is called Bronco, address 850-0852 Nagasaki, Yorozuya machi 5-4.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ステーキハウス-ブロンコ-206688849396493/
This is in Kanko dori, the main downtown shopping area in Nagasaki. Online photos of the interior show a Confederate flag on display. [All signs courtesy of YZ as of April 17, 2021; click on image to expand in browser.]
Caption by YZ: The first two were taken two days ago by a student of mine who lives near that place. The third picture was the original one that WX had taken And the last is a screenshot of my comment on their Facebook page about the confederate flag. The inside of the restaurant is decorated in pretty much anything you can think of from the United States and especially from Texas. (Ironic, don’t you think?)
XY continued: After we posted the photographs, many people both foreign and Japanese either called the restaurant or contacted local government agencies to complain. The owner didn’t answer any of the calls and the person who did said they realised the signs were problematic. The agencies contacted said the signs were offensive or discriminatory but they had no legal recourse to action.
YZ and I planned to visit the restaurant to talk to the owner yesterday, but it was their 定休日. Apparently the owner has a bad reputation of being extremely unpleasant and we suspect he knows fully well that the signs are discriminatory and doesn’t care. YZ contacted someone in the local chamber of commerce in the hope that they can pressure the owner to remove the signs.
In all my decades of living in Nagasaki I have never seen anything like this. I’m deeply upset that Nagasaki, with it’s long history of interaction with foreign countries, and it’s image of a peace-loving city, is allowing this. I have no desire to eat in this restaurant but I believe the signs are infringing on my human rights, by discriminating against me as a foreigner, and suggesting that foreigners are the source of COVID-19 infection. Thank you for your interest in our story. Please let me and YZ know if you need more information. Kind regards, XY
COMMENT FROM DEBITO: Another one to add to Debito.org’s collection of “Japanese Only” signs. In addition to all of the other places archived both here on the Debito.org Blog and on the Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Establishments, it looks like the owner of Bronco is so much of a fan of America that he’s adopting America’s long history of racism, down to the Confederate Flag (supporters of which would historically no doubt have supported America’s Asian exclusion laws, WWII internment camps for Japanese, and other measures that would exclude Non-Whites like him).
The interesting thing about this bigot is that his racism has evolved with the times. No longer is it a matter of excluding people because they don’t “look Japanese” or “don’t understand Japanese customs or language” etc., etc. Now it’s a matter of infection (which in fact is a Japanese government-supported narrative). No matter that Japan’s primary vectors of infection in recent months have been Japanese returning from overseas themselves, what with Japan’s honor-system quarantines for Japanese only until relatively recently, a willful under-testing of the asymptomatic or much contract tracing of infected Japanese (to keep the numbers low and the Olympics coming), and abysmally low vaccination rates in Japan, leading to the distinct possibility that Japan has incubated its own Eek Variant of the Coronavirus.
If anything, foreign returnees and even tourists are probably more likely to be vaccinated and therefore less contagious than the average Taro. But no matter. Blame the foreigner. After all, it’s what even the main Japanese scientist advising the government told us we should do. Bad physical science, coupled with even worse social science, has once again enabled the racists. Debito Arudou, Ph.D.
UPDATE: EXCLUSIONARY SIGNS ARE DOWN
Subject: Re: Foreign people are forbidden sign in Nagasaki
Date: April 25, 2021
To: Debito Arudou <email@example.com>
I’m sorry for not getting back in touch with you sooner. Thank you for blogging about Bronco. I’m happy to report that the signs were taken down by Sunday April 18th, we think because of pressure from the local shop owners’ association. YZ had contacted MICE, an organization which promotes the new conference center being built here [info in English, Japanese], who told her they would ask the shop owners’ association to talk to the owner. Also some of YZ’s friends are members of the association and also acted on our behalf, after seeing her posts on SNS.
We are both glad that the local Japanese community stood up against racism.
Kind regards, XY
DEBITO COMMENTS: See? If the government has an interest or a duty to stop this exclusionary behavior, it can happen quite rapidly. Yet another reason why we need actual laws against racial discrimination.
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