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Japanese shop draws flak for ban on Chinese tourists amid coronavirus fears

/ 09:39 AM January 24, 2020
Pedestrians wearing face masks in Japan

Pedestrians wear protective masks as they walk through a shopping district in Tokyo on Jan. 16, 2020. Japan’s government said a man treated for pneumonia after returning from China had tested positive for the new coronavirus identified as a possible cause of an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan. (Photo by EUGENE HOSHIKO / AP)

A candy store in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, in Japan drew flak after putting up a sign banning Chinese tourists amid fears over the novel coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China.

The owner of the shop, who was unidentified, put up the sign using a translation app, so he would not be infected by the novel coronavirus, as per the Asahi Shimbun on Jan. 22. The sign, which was put up on Jan. 17, reads, “Chinese people are banned from entering this store” and “I don’t want them to spread the virus.”

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“Ill-mannered Chinese tourists have caused trouble in my store,” the owner was quoted as saying. “I want to protect myself against the coronavirus. I don’t want Chinese tourists to enter.”

Japan confirmed its first case of the coronavirus on Jan. 16—a Chinese national living in Kanagawa Prefecture who returned from a trip to Wuhan on Jan. 6. The man tested positive after showing symptoms of coronavirus on Jan. 10, but has since recovered and been discharged from the hospital.

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Japan just confirmed its second case of the virus today, Jan. 24, also in a man who recently traveled to Wuhan, as per Japan Times on the same day. The traveler, who is in his 40s, suffered from a fever while in China on Jan. 14 and arrived in Japan on Jan. 19. He is now hospitalized in Tokyo.

The shop owner’s sign was denounced by Chinese netizens after it made the rounds online, and the shop owner also received messages calling for his apology. Following the backlash, the shop owner said he would change his sign.

“I’ll rewrite the sign and refrain from using expressions that may cause controversy,” he said, as per the report, but made it clear that he would still not allow Chinese people inside his shop.

Meanwhile, the Philippine bureau of the World Health Organization said on Jan. 21 that there is no confirmed case of the coronavirus in the country yet. Cases of coronavirus, however, have been reported in the United States, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and SingaporeCody Cepeda /ra

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TAGS: Coronavirus, Health Scare, Japan, World Health Organization (WHO), Wuhan
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