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Hotel in Kyoto warned for refusing accommodation to Israeli man

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21 Jun 2024 10:06:01 GMT9
21 Jun 2024 10:06:01 GMT9

Arab News Japan

TOKYO: Japanese media have reported that a hotel in Kyoto has been warned after refusing to allow an Israeli man to stay on the premises despite making a confirmed booking.

Kyoto City said that “refusing accommodation based on nationality or occupation is a violation of the law.” The Inns and Hotels Act prohibits refusing to allow guests to stay at a hotel unless there are specific circumstances, such as the guest being a patient of a specific infectious disease or in cases of customer harassment.

According to the Kyoto City, staff at the hotel refused to let the Israeli man stay at the hotel after he had booked online. They cited the possibility that the man was connected to the Israeli military who had fought in ​​Gaza as the reason.

The guest received a letter from the manager of the hotel, which thanked him for “taking the time and choosing our hotel.” The letter then explained why it was refusing to accommodate him:

“We are sorry to inform you that, due to reports of possible war crimes being committed by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) members in the conflict taking place in Gaza between Israel and Palestine, we are not able to accept reservations from persons we believe might have ties to the Israeli army.”

“Offering lodging to persons who might have assisted or might be assisting in the execution of warfare activities forbidden by international humanitarian law based on the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols could put us at risk of being considered accomplices and/ or accessories to a person who could be facing prosecution for war crimes as soon as the conflict is over.”

The City investigated the hotel, confirmed the facts, and gave verbal administrative guidance to the operating company on June 20 and written guidance on the 21st. A Kyoto City official said, “This is not a legitimate reason to turn away guests.”

However, the hotel didn’t offer any apology for its actions. The president of the hotel management company told reporters, “I’ve asked a lawyer about this matter, and I can’t say anything now. I can’t give an answer about the circumstances or the Israeli response.”

The Israeli Embassy said it had sent a letter to the hotel stating that the refusal to stay was “clear discrimination” and that the incident “cannot be tolerated in any way.”

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