A hotel in central Tokyo sparked outrage on social media ahead of the Tokyo 2020 games for a poorly worded sign in front of its elevators. The sign read “Japanese only” and “foreigners only” but have since been removed. The management of Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu have also stepped up to apologise.
The hotel officials also explained that the signs were initially put up to make it easier for patrons but ended up causing a misunderstanding. They were also put up as officials and organisers of Tokyo 2020 asked hoteliers to ensure guests coming in for the games remained separate from those staying in hotels, according to Reuters.
Japan Times also reported on the situation, stating that the signs were put up following measures in response to the guidelines provided by the organising committee of the Olympics and Paralympics to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The four elevators were meant to be split into two units for local Japanese customers and another two for foreigners.
A check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE found that a Twitter user has updated on Hotel Tokyu’s sign, showing that the term “foreigners only” has been replaced with “foreigner priority”. The Twitter user said in a tweet: “this is hardly an improvement. (The hotel) doesn’t seem to understand what the problem is at all. This is ridiculous.”