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Japanese authorities urge people to halt discrimination against Russians

Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi. (AFP)
Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi. (AFP)
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20 Apr 2022 12:04:32 GMT9
20 Apr 2022 12:04:32 GMT9

Arab News Japan

TOKYO: The Japanese authorities have taken steps to stop the defamation and racial discrimination against Russians following a series of incidents of abuse after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, on April ’19, urged the Japanese not to mistreat or insult ordinary Russians residing in Japan. Hayashi said the invasion of Ukraine is an act carried out by the administration of President Vladimir Putin, “We know that Russian citizens in Japan oppose the invasion.”

Earlier this month, JR East employees of Ebisu train station in central Tokyo blocked a Russian-language sign with papers that read “under maintenance” after receiving complaints from passengers who said they felt uneasy seeing the Russian language. 

Following media reports, Mitsuhiro Fukagai, the head of the JR East Tokyo branch, was forced to admit that the station’s employees had acted inappropriately and instructed them to remove the covers.

Japanese critics of this racist move pointed out that Ukrainian passengers also benefit from such instructions written in Russian saying that the language is innocent of the ongoing war between the two countries.

Racist incidents have grown. A restaurant with a sign at its entrance asking Russians not to enter was forced to remove it.  Russian musician visits to Japan have been canceled one after another due to the anti-Russian wave in the country. 

The Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, meanwhile, deleted the embassy’s “sponsorship” notation from a program booklet.

Russian famous pianist Nikolai Lugansky’s performance with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra  has reportedly been canceled. The company explained only that the cause of his visit to Japan cancellation was “because of the current situation.” 

In addition, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra’s Japan tour and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s Japan tour have both been canceled, and the visit of world-famous Russian conductor Valery Gergiev is being considered for cancellation, local media reported.

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