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RACIAL PROFILING AT TOYOKO INN, HIROSAKI, AOMORI PREF: AGAIN
WHAT I DID ABOUT IT; BOYCOTT RECOMMENDED UNTIL THEY FOLLOW THE LAW
By Arudou Debito, Sapporo, Japan (email@example.com, https://www.debito.org)
December 2, 2007, freely forwardable
(UPDATE: As of January 12, 2008, more than a month later, no answer to my official letter of complaint (sent naiyou shoumei) from Toyoko Inn.)
SUMMARY: Toyoko Inn (http://www.toyoko-inn.com), a high-profile nationwide chain of hotels in Japan, have a clear policy of racial profiling at their hotels. They illegally demanded a passport from the author on the basis of his race alone on November 30, 2007, reflecting their history of even illegally threatening to refuse accommodation to NJ residents unless they provide Gaijin Cards at check-in. This systematic harassment of NJ clientele is unnecessary and unlawful, especially in the face of hotels increasingly refusing all foreigners accommodation across “Yokoso” Japan. Toyoko Inn’s continuing refusal to abide by the laws, despite advisements from NJ customers in the past, forces this author to conclude that NJ residents and international Japanese citizens, not to mention supporters of human rights in Japan, should take their business to hotels other than Toyoko Inn–until the chain at the national level agrees in writing to improve their services.
I went down to Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture last weekend for a December 1 speech at Hirosaki Gakuin University (sponsored by Professor Todd Jay Leonard) on racial discrimination in Japan (download Powerpoint presentation in Japanese at https://www.debito.org/arudounewpresentationj.ppt). After a six-hour train ride from Sapporo, I was met by my hosts at 11PM AT Hirosaki Station, who accompanied me to the neighboring Toyoko Inn (#164 O-aza Ekimae 1-1-1, Hirosaki-shi, Aomori-ken, Ph 0172-31-2045) where they had made my reservation.
At the counter, a clerk (a Ms. Ishi-oka) gave me a check-in slip. After filling out my name in Kanji, and just before I was to write out my Japanese address in Japanese, the clerk said, “May I see your passport?”
Todd and his friends looked to each other, sighed, and said to themselves, “Oh boy. Here we go…”
BEING GIVEN THE THIRD DEGREE, BEYOND THE PALE
The conversation between the clerk and me proceeded something like this:
ME: Why do you need my passport?
CLERK: It’s required by hotel policy and by Japanese law.
ME: Let me see the laws.
CLERK: (producing a countertop stand with the text of the hotel request for passports in English, Korean, and Chinese) Japanese law requires that all foreigners at check in–
(see the letter of the law yourself–and download it–at https://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#refusedhotel)
ME: Is there a Japanese version? (She pointed to the Japanese she had been reading from on the back of the stand.) Right, so as you can see here, it requires passports from people “without addresses in Japan”. I have an address in Japan, but you asked me before I even had a chance to write it.
CLERK: We have a policy of asking all foreigners for identification at check-in.
ME: That’s illegal. You can only ask tourists for ID. Or can’t you read the law in Japanese here? Also, how do you even know I am a foreigner?
CLERK: Because you wrote your name in Katakana–
ME: (displaying the check-in slip) I wrote my name in Kanji. Can’t you see?
CLERK: (taking a closer look and uttering a demurrer)
ME: I am a Japanese citizen. I do not have to show you a passport or any other form of ID.
CLERK: Do you have a driver licence to prove that?
ME: Do you require driver licences from other Japanese at check-in?
CLERK: It’s just that we have a policy of asking for identification from foreigners.
ME: Clearly I am not getting through to you. Call your manager.
CLERK: Our manager is not here at the moment.
ME: Then get him or her on the phone. You are racially profiling me. This is racial discrimination and a violation of Japanese laws. Give me your full name, please, and the name of your manager.
CLERK: (running behind a partition) Please wait a minute.
My friends and I then sat down in a connected anteroom for a glass of water and an animated discussion of the proceedings for about five minutes, before the clerk shouted down the hall that she had an answer for me.
CLERK: Our manager is too busy to come to the phone right now.
ME: Okay, then I’m not too busy to contact your headquarters (honsha), to tell them that your manager refused to discuss a serious issue of customer relations with a customer. Your full name please and your manager’s full name, please.
CLERK: (running behind a partition) Please wait a minute.
A few minutes later I was on the phone with a Ms. Obara, the assistant manager of this hotel. She opened with the standard apologies. I said she should hear me out before apologizing. The issues were: 1) deciding whether or not a customer was a foreigner or not solely based on face, therefore race, 2) enforcing a law, which applied only to tourists, upon all people deemed “foreign”, 3) enforcing a nonexistent law requiring proof of Japaneseness even after said customer says that he is Japanese. This was customer harassment on the basis of racial profiling, and done to an egregious and unprecedented degree in my experience at any hotel in Japan.
And given that Toyoko Inns in Sapporo have illegally required passport/Gaijin Card for reservations from NJ residents of Japan (in violation of the Hotel Management Law, Article 5, which does not permit refusals of customers on this basis), this chain’s systematic policy of targeting foreigners or foreign-looking people as suspicious is unnecessary and illegal.
Not to mention the fact, of course, that the clerk personally tried to shirk her duty of connecting a customer to the manager. This was irresponsibility that should not be allowed to pass without complaint.
Ms Obara indicated she understood the issue and apologized for the poor training of her employee. She said she’d like to see me face-to-face the next day for a personal apology. I said I would be out all day the next day, arriving late back from a house party at Todd’s after my speech, but would leave my meishi with keitai number at the counter should she wish to arrange a time for meeting. She said, no matter, she would wait until I got in. Then I went back to the anteroom for another hour of water and jawing with Todd and company over what had just happened.
Said they, “This has never happened to any of us before at a hotel in Japan. Why does this keep happening to you?” they said. “Never mind, we got to see Debito in action…”
DECEMBER 2, 2007, MIDNIGHT
ARRIVAL AT TOYOKO INN AFTER HOUSE PARTY
Todd gave a lovely house party, with booze galore plus some pretty crappy Iwate wine (which everyone got a least a half-hour’s mileage of jokes out of–especially for naffly putting a squirrel on the label). So lovely I tragically got a migraine at the very end. With head throbbing, I returned to the Toyoko, got my room key, and found the manager there waiting for me, even though it was past midnight. “You needn’t have waited up so long,” said I. “You said you’d be late, and I wanted to meet you and apologize properly,” said she.
And for the next hour, while I blinked my way through the mercury haze of migraine flashes, Ms Obara and I had a very good chat about what happened and why it shouldn’t happen again. Me: “I understand the laws, but until you have confirmed that a customer–any customer regardless of nationality–has no address in Japan, you legally cannot demand identification from them. Just confirm that, ask for ID from those who don’t, and we’ve got no issue here. But I don’t appreciate this interrogation, and demand for proof that I am even a Japanese, from an obstinate clerk late at night at check-in like this. It’s poor service.
Ms Obara was understanding, and tried to make an excuse that Aomori isn’t used to foreigners, but I pointed out that Aomori, with its Nebuta Matsuri, and Hirosaki in particular with its castle and Sakura Matsuri, is a magnet for international clientele. She conceded the point, and the conversation turned to why I was here speaking at Hirosaki Gakuin University. She even bought one of my books, thank you very much. In the end, the conversation went on too long for her to be ingenuine in her apologies (I’ve found that people who just want to apologize pro forma and be done with things exhaust a conversation after ten minutes), and I was satisfied that their hotel branch would do better in future.
SUGGEST YOU TAKE YOUR BUSINESS ELSEWHERE ANYWAY
I am not, however, so optimistic about the Toyoko Inn chain in general. More than two years ago, as James Eriksson and Olaf Karthaus reported to The Community mailing list, Toyoko Inn Sapporo refused James’s reservation if he did not present his Gaijin Card at check in (https://www.debito.org/olafongaijincarding.html). Even today, and after demands for improved service are now years old, the Toyoko Inn chain is still not treating NJ customers with the appropriate respect. Until we get a written guarantee from the chain that they are aware of the laws and will improve NJ customer treatment (and I will still be writing headquarters about this incident), I suggest that NJ customers, and their friends and supporters, take their business elsewhere.
This is part of a surge in activity in Japan these days regarding Japanese hotels–their refusal to even accept any foreign clientele whatsoever. They blame it on language barriers–the fact they can’t speak English!–so Japanese lodgers only. This is illegal. I finally have enough time and information to make a full report on this, so I’ll get to it within the month.
Thanks for reading this brief. Prelude to a much deeper and ever-growing problem of exclusionism in Japan.
Arudou Debito in Sapporo
December 2, 2007
(UPDATE: As of January 12, 2007, more than a month later, no answer to my official letter of complaint (sent naiyou shoumei) from Toyoko Inn.)
17 comments on “REPORT: Racial Profiling at Toyoko Inns; suggest boycott (letter of complaint unanswered)”
Dude, have soooooo got to have NHK meet you at the airport the next time you come back from across the ocean. You should be wearing a wireless mic and they should be within range of a telescopic camera because i have SOOOO got to see what happens after they tell you to go through the gaijin line….
–I STRONGLY DOUBT NHK WOULD BE THE SLIGHTEST BIT INTERESTED IN COVERING ME, IF THEIR PAST COVERAGE OF THIS ISSUE IS ANY GUIDE 🙂
Still, it’s as though you’re a giant magnet for all this activity. Granted, you travel a lot.
Interesting, wierd and fun as always Debito san. I want also to draw your attention to an… interesting “jiken” happened in Tokyo to a Swedish guy, which has been “saved” by Pio D`Emilia, an Italian guy you maybe know (or you should to). The post is written into Italian, but I hope to translate it soon (or that somebody will do it soon)
“Never, ever, ever surrender!”
Sir Winston Churchill
Give ’em hell!
No apology from the clerk, Debito?
–KINDA. BUT THE FACT SHE WENT SO FAR OUT OF HER WAY TO SHIRK RESPONSIBILITY, EVEN TELL ME THE MANAGER WAS “TOO BUSY” TO COME TO THE PHONE THAT EVENING (EVEN THOUGH IT TURNS OUT–AND I DIDN’T PUT THIS IN THE ESSAY BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE DISRUPTED THE FLOW–SHE DIDN’T ACTUALLY *CALL* THE MANAGER THE FIRST TIME) MEANS SHE’S GOT LYING TENDENCIES GOING OVER THE PATHOLOGICAL LINE. HER SAYING “SORRY” AT JUST ABOUT ANY STAGE OF THE CONVERSATION WAS THUS VOIDED.
HIGH WOW FACTOR HERE. SOMEHOW I ALWAYS GET THESE PEOPLE SERVING ME. I GUESS IT’S JUST MY FATE. DEBITO
The hotel policy itself is idiotic because it forces the staff to make a determination of the customers nationality based on first impressions. These days its just not possible, if it ever was. More and more halfu with western features, or naturalized citizens will (hopefully!) see that these kinds of policies are trashed in the future.
Debito, saw this today. What do you think about this article? Don`t know if you have read this or not. Seems like the locals are worried about violating gangsters rights, but it`s fine to violate NJ wanting to basically have a roof over their heads.
–YEAH, BUT YAKUZA ARE PART OF “TEAM JAPAN”, REMEMBER. EVEN THE POLICE RESPECT THEIR RIGHTS TO KEEP CRIME UNDER CONTROL AND DOMINATED BY JAPANESE. DEBITO
Cities bar gangsters from public housing
12/03/2007 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Local governments increasingly are saying no to members of organized crime syndicates when it comes to public housing, an Asahi Shimbun survey shows.
Twenty prefectural and seven major city governments have revised related ordinances so they can reject potential gangster tenants–a sharp rise from two prefectural and one city government which had done so by late April.
The increase was apparently triggered by an incident involving a gangster living in a Tokyo metropolitan government-run apartment in the city of Machida in April. He confined himself to his room and fired several shots at police officers outside the building, after killing another gangster elsewhere.
Some local governments remain cautious about revising ordinances on grounds such action could violate people’s rights of residence. There is also the question of proving that someone has gang ties.
The Asahi Shimbun survey of 47 prefectures and 17 major cities found that as of late April, only Hiroshima and Fukuoka prefectures and the city of Hiroshima had revised ordinances.
After the shooting incident in Machida, the land ministry set guidelines in June about choosing tenants for public housing. The National Police Agency is providing input by answering inquiries from local governments about whether tenants or potential tenants are gangsters.
An additional 12 prefectural and six city governments plan to revise ordinances by the end of this year, and 12 more prefectural governments and city governments are aiming to do so by the end of fiscal 2007.
The Tokyo metropolitan government revised its ordinances this past summer. An official in charge of the revision said, “If gangsters live in the public housing facilities, it could be difficult for us to secure the safety of other residents of the facilities.”
The Fukuoka city government plans to submit a revision to the city assembly this month stipulating that only those who are not gangsters are allowed to live in city housing facilities, and that if tenants are found to be gangsters, they can be evicted.
The prefectural governments of Hyogo and Okinawa, and the city governments of Sapporo and Shizuoka, have no plans to revise ordinances.
They are dealing with the issue by writing in guidebooks on public housing facilities that gangsters cannot live in their facilities. Some of the governments are requiring potential tenants to sign a pledge that they have no gang ties.
“The revision of ordinance could violate the people’s right of residence, and is, therefore, beyond the tolerable limit,” said an official of the Sapporo city government.
An official of the Okinawa prefectural government said, “Actually, few problems have been caused (by gangsters who are living in public housing facilities).”(IHT/Asahi: December 3,2007)
I’m surprised at this stupidity given that non-Japanese are a reasonable proportion of Toyoko’s customer base.
Why such idiocy, given the economic cost of carrying on in such a manner?
–PROBABLY BECAUSE THEY THINK THAT THE GAIJIN AREN’T GOING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. REMEMBER HOW TOYOKO INN WAS TOWARDS THE HANDICAPPED JUST LAST YEAR? THEY REMOVED “BARRIER FREE” MEASURES AFTER GOJ CERTIFICATION ‘COS TO THE BOSS, NISHIDA NORIMASA, THE KATAWA WEREN’T POWERFUL ENOUGH CUSTOMERS. AND HE SAID SO IN PUBLIC.
DON’T USE THIS HOTEL, FOR CRISSAKES. DEBITO
Hotelier beats checks, drops disabled access
Toyoko inns remove required parking
Toyoko Inn Co. admitted Friday that some of its business hotels in Yokohama and other areas removed mandatory parking facilities for the disabled after authorities certified them as barrier-free.
The Japan Times: Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006
Building inspectors enter a Toyoko Inn business hotel in Naka Ward on Friday to probe its alleged removal of required parking for disabled people.
At one 10-story, 133-room hotel in Yokohama’s Naka Ward that opened just this month, part of the modified area is being used as a smoking corner in an expanded lobby.
The Yokohama Municipal Government and the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry launched an investigation into the hotel chain, suspecting it had violated a related city ordinance and national laws, including the Building Standard Law and another building law for the elderly and disabled that requires certain types of buildings to be free from barriers for these people.
The fresh revelation of falsified building specifications comes on the heels of the ongoing building safety scandal over faked quake-resistance data involving disgraced architect Hidetsugu Aneha and some condominium and hotel developers.
Toyoko President Norimasa Nishida told a hastily arranged news conference following an Asahi Shimbun report on the matter Friday morning that he knew the move would be deemed illegal.
He also confessed that similar modifications were made for other hotels — he claimed one or two. The chain has over 110 hotels nationwide. But he did not specify which inns may have such problems.
Hotel officials admitted later in the day that another hotel in Yokohama’s Kohoku Ward, near Shin Yokohama Station, was similarly modified.
A Yokohama city official sharply reacted to the report, saying the modifications are an “extremely ill-intended act” to water down the city’s social welfare efforts.
The hotel in Naka Ward, which opened in January, had parking facilities tailored for the disabled when a private agency inspected it on behalf of the city shortly after construction ended last month.
But the hotel removed these facilities after the inspection in order to widen the lobby area, the president said.
Part of the widened lobby is used as a smoking corner for customers and parking spaces designated for the disabled were removed so regular drivers could use them.
Nishida apologized and pledged that the hotel chain will restore the modified spaces and do all it can do to recover public trust.
“I knew the modification would violate a city ordinance, but I approved the proposal by the marketing division to remove the facilities,” Nishida said.
Regarding the hotel in Kohoku Ward, the parking space for the disabled was reduced to accommodate three cars, sources said. Under a Yokohama ordinance for the disabled, a hotel of that size and location must have parking space for four cars.
Separately, Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Kazuo Kitagawa told reporters that if the allegations are true, it would be “extremely regrettable.”
“The modification is out of the question. It goes totally against the land ministry’s policy of creating communities based on universal design,” he said.
The two Yokohama hotels were modified by affiliates of Toyoko Inn, but steel bars and other features related to the buildings’ quake resistance were not altered, thus their strength meets government standards, the hotel officials claimed.
Yuji Kaneko, head of the secretariat at the Japan Disabled Drivers’ Automobile Federation, said the organization has helped pass laws or ordinances to make public facilities free of barriers.
But such laws are of no use if they aren’t obeyed, he said.
The federation will urge municipalities to supervise hoteliers and other parties to see if they have violated laws, Kaneko said.
Yokohama officials inspected the two Yokohama hotels Friday afternoon.
Authorities of other regions also examined Toyoko Inn hotels in their areas Friday, also finding some were modified after authorization.
Four Toyoko Inn hotels in the city of Osaka were found to have used their garage spaces to enhance lobby or storage space, or for other purposes, city officials said.
In a hotel in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, a room for the disabled was converted to a conference room, city officials said.
At a hotel in the city of Saitama, there was no sign marking a parking space for the disabled despite a local ordinance obliging the hotel to place a sign.
The modification of mandatory facilities for the disabled without approval violates the building standard law and the special building law for the elderly and disabled, which requires buildings with a total floor space of 2,000 sq. meters or larger to be free of barriers.
Toyoko Inn has enjoyed brisk business due to its reasonable rates — about 4,000 yen to 6,000 yen per night for a single.
The number of hotels run by the Tokyo hotelier has been increasing at an annual pace of about 20 and now totals more than 110 nationwide, according to the chain.
The chain is said to be able to offer very reasonable accommodations by not having restaurants or banquet rooms.
Toyoko Inn qualifies apology to disabled
The Japan Times: Friday, Feb. 3, 2006
Toyoko Inn Co. President Norimasa Nishida apologized to a federation of nationwide disabled people’s groups Thursday for removing mandatory facilities designed for their use at its hotels.
“I have to say that these cases have occurred due to a lack of understanding as a hotel operator . . . on ordinances aimed at realizing an everyday life comfortable to everyone,” Nishida claimed in a letter of apology handed to the Japanese Federation of Organizations of Disabled Persons.
Nishida, who visited the Tokyo-based federation, also apologized for saying in a press conference last week that the modifications were made “because the number of disabled people using (the hotels) was small.”
The federation handed Nishida a letter of protest calling on Toyoko Inn to swiftly reverse the illegal modifications that replaced the facilities. It also asked him to apologize for remarks he made at press conferences that could be regarded as discriminatory toward disabled people.
The budget hotel chain developed and illegally renovated 82 hotels in 26 prefectures, based on a Kyodo News tally as of Thursday.
These include two affiliated hotels in Ota Ward, Tokyo, that were found to have undergone illegal renovations, including conversion of bicycle parking lots into office space.
Yokohama Mayor Hiroshi Nakada recommended potential guests avoid the chain.
“I would like people who visit Yokohama for sightseeing or business not to use such hotels,” he said at a press conference.
Inspections conducted by the city have revealed that all eight Toyoko Inn hotels operating in Yokohama were illegally modified.
The company admitted last Friday that two of its hotels in Yokohama removed mandatory parking facilities for the disabled.
Weeping Toyoko boss pledges to right wrongs
By KAHO SHIMIZU Staff writer
The Japan Times: Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2006
Toyoko Inn Co. President Norimasa Nishida said Monday the firm will retrofit all the hotels that it illegally modified after they were approved by municipal governments as meeting barrier-free codes, and will hire disabled people to promote their employment.
Nishida also apologized for not taking the case seriously. At a previous news conference, he had downplayed the modifications, including removing required parking for disabled people, reckoning there was no major problem.
As of Monday, 60 of the 122 Toyoko Inn hotels nationwide had been found to have been modified in violation of the Building Standards Law and other laws that require certain types of buildings to make their facilities friendly to the elderly and disabled, according to the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry.
In many cases, Toyoko Inn removed mandatory parking facilities for the disabled to expand lobbies or use the areas for other purposes.
“We will restore (the illegally modified hotels) to their original state as soon as possible,” Nishida, his head bowed as he wept, told a news conference in Tokyo. “It was me who gave the go-ahead for (the modifications) and I take all the blame.”
But the chain did not clarify how it will retrofit its hotels.
The hotelier also said it will hire disabled people to help promote full participation of such people in society.
Nishida repeatedly apologized throughout the conference, while leaving most of the questions — on its plan to restore the hotels to their original state and who was responsible for the renovations — unanswered.
Yokohama tells Toyoko Inn to rectify violations by May
The Japan Times: Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006
YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) The Yokohama Municipal Government on Friday ordered budget hotel chain Toyoko Inn Co. to correct violations of the Building Standards Law and a related city ordinance by the end of April.
Specifically, the city ordered Toyoko Inn to reduce the number of guest rooms at two of its eight hotels in the city and to restore mandatory parking facilities for the disabled at two other hotels in Yokohama. It also banned the company from using rooms and facilities built illegally in the city.
The orders follow the revelation last month that the Tokyo-based hotel chain modified their hotels in violation of a city ordinance.
Toyoko Inn Yokohama Nishiguchi and Toyoko Inn Kannai Bandobashi were found to be built exceeding the legally determined ratio of floor area to building lot space in violation of the Building Standards Law. Mandatory parking lots were found removed at the other two hotels.
For the Yokohama Nishiguchi and Kannai Bandobashi hotels, Toyoko Inn illegally increased the number of guest rooms by 31 in total, raising the ratio of floor area to building lot space to 670 percent, up from the legally allowed 500 percent, at one of the two and to 460 percent from 400 percent, at the other, the city officials said.
Toyoko Inn has already told city authorities it will voluntarily prohibit use of the additional rooms built.
On Monday, the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry said 60 of Toyoko Inn’s 122 hotels across Japan have been found in violation of laws and local ordinances.
Toyoko Inn made illegal modifications in 79 cases at 60 hotels in 21 prefectures, of which 37 were violations of the Building Standards Law, the ministry said. Of those 37 cases, 27 involved exceeding the legally determined ratio of floor area to building lot space.
There were also 18 violations of a law that requires user-friendly facilities for the disabled.
Check out this “answer” from Yahoo’s “chiebukuro” (the Japanese version of Yahoo Answers, roughly):
No distinction being made between residents and non-residents — an answer that’s outright wrong has already been chosen as the “best” and it looks like no more replies can be added!
–SO MUCH FOR “CHIE”. MORE LIKE “KUZU”. OR WHATEVER YOU’D LIKE TO PUT IN A BAG FULL OF SOMETHING UNDESIRABLE. DEBITO
JUST SENT THIS OUT TO MY JAPANESE LISTS. DEBITO
Hey Debito: Check out this “answer” from Yahoo’s “chiebukuro” (the Japanese version of Yahoo Answers, roughly):
No distinction being made between residents and non-residents – an answer that’s outright wrong has already been chosen as the “best” and it looks like no more replies can be added!
質問日時： 2007/11/28 02:21:20 解決日時： 2007/12/1 04:37:22 質問番号： 13,635,389
回答数： 1 質問した人： karust14さん 1-1 この質問内容が不快なら
回答日時： 2007/11/28 08:32:30 回答番号： 42,993,840
回答した人： cedoricbensonさん 2-1 この回答内容が不快なら
コメント日時： 2007/12/1 04:37:22
Two years ago, you wrote about a similar “inquisition” at a hotel in Japan. At that time, you wrote that you really couldn’t blame the hotel staff much, and that you had tracked down the problem (the policy origin) to the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. They gave you some lip service, as I recall, about taking your suggestions under advisement, but the crux was that you blamed the government then, not the hotel. I see the current incident as different. You are now trying to get people to boycott the hotel. Why the difference?
1) WE CAUTIONED THIS HOTEL CHAIN ABOUT THIS BEFORE, AND THEY DIDN’T LISTEN.
2) THEY HAVE A HISTORY OF TREATING NJ CUSTOMERS SHABBILY, BUT ALSO HANDICAPPED–WHERE THEY LIED TO GET “BARRIER FREE” CERTIFICATION.
THERE IS NO PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY HERE. THESE ARE THE TOYOKO INN’S POLICIES. AND THEY MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEM.
TIME TO SHOW THEM THAT CUSTOMERS ARE WORTH LISTENING TO.
READ THE COMMENTS SECTION (ONE WOULD HOPE YOU HAVE IN ORDER TO READ THIS ANSWER). I HAVE INCLUDED SOME JAPAN TIMES ARTICLES SUBSTANTIATING POINT 2) ABOVE. DEBITO
Any reply forthcoming from Toyoko as yet, or has your letter found its way into a shredder somewhere at Toyoko HQ?
An interesting report
０１年の米国同時多発テロ以降の国際的なテロ情勢を受け、旅館業法施行規則で義務づけられた来日外国人の国籍と旅券番号の記録作業を、全国の主なホテ ル・旅館の４軒に１軒がやっていないことが警察庁の調査でわかった。罰則はないものの、宿泊現場では、客への配慮から徹底できないとの声がある。規則には ない旅券のコピー保存となると一層抵抗感が強い。半年後に迫った北海道洞爺湖サミットに向け、同庁はあらためて協力を求めている。
同法の本来の目的は感染症対策で、全宿泊者の氏名、住所、職業を宿泊者名簿に記録するように定めている。国際的なテロ対策強化を受け、 ０５年４月に外国人宿泊者については国籍と旅券番号の記録を義務づけるよう施行規則が改正された。本人確認が旅券でしかできないためで、定住外国人は除外 されている。
UPDATE JANUARY 6, 2007:
As of January 6, nearly a month later, they haven’t replied.
Meanwhile, the NPA indicates below that they will be cracking down on hotels who don’t “cooperate” with the law (according to the Asahi, more than a quarter are not). Expect more third-degree at Japanese hotels at check-in.
It should also be noted that in Japan people who look younger than their real age get asked for identification every time they try to buy alcohol beverages, solely based on face, even when they are of legal age. It’s an outrageous discrimination of the baby-faced.
–THIS IS JUST SILLY. YOU DON’T ALWAYS LOOK YOUNG. BUT YOU DON’T OUTGROW LOOKING FOREIGN. IT’S NOT THE SAME THING, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVE A OVERWHELMINGLY RACIALLY-BASED PARADIGM DETERMINING WHO “LOOKS JAPANESE” IN THIS SOCIETY.
ONE WOULD HOPE YOU COULD HAVE THOUGHT THIS THROUGH FOR YOURSELF BEFORE COMMENTING.
It’s the same thing as far as you don’t outgrow looking young. That’s agism. (Asians tend to look younger compared to other races and so more of them suffer from it, doubly discriminated in a sense.) There is a discriminatory rule of thumb to determine who “looks adult/juvenile” in the Japanese society as much as there is one to determin who “looks foreign.” There are also rules of thumb to determin who “looks male/female,” “looks wealthy/poor,” etc. Cross-dressers, transgenders, grungers, goths, etc. are having a hard time because of such discriminatory rules of thumb, or stereotypes, predominant in the Japanese society. Surely they can change the way they dress to avoid discrimination, but then their freedom of fashion will be violated by requiring them to do so.
–THESE ARGUMENTS ARE MERELY COLLEGE UNDERGRADUATE-LEVEL MUSINGS OF UNIVERSAL RELATIVITY, WITH THE IRONIC UNDERCURRENT OF “DISCRIMINATION EXISTS EVERYWHERE, SHIKATA GA NAI” (ALONG WITH A TINGE OF ASIAN-STYLE INFERIORITY/PERSECUTION COMPLEX). AND THE COMPLETELY UNSCIENTIFIC ASSERTION THAT ASIANS DON’T AGE (SORRY, “DON’T OUTGROW LOOKING YOUNG”)?
I’LL APPROVE THIS COMMENT FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT. BUT WILL LET OTHERS PICK IT APART IF THEY SO CHOOSE. I DON’T FEEL LIKE BEING A SOUNDING BOARD FOR THIS POSTER’S LIBERAL-ARTS EDUCATION.
More issues for Toyoko Inn. Can’t say I’m surprised by this given their history.