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Friday, June 14, 2024
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SG MAN IN JAPAN MISTAKEN AS PRC, KENA IGNORED BY WAITER UNTIL HE SHOWS PASSPORT

My experience with racism in Japan was truly eye-opening.

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Over the past few decades, I have travelled to several countries around the world and I had always heard stories of racism happening in Japan but I never expected to experience it myself.

It was a few months ago when I was in Tokyo. I had just finished my business meetings and was looking for a place to eat. I had heard great reviews about a particular restaurant, so I decided to give it a try. When I arrived, I noticed that the restaurant was quite crowded.

I entered the restaurant and was immediately greeted by a waiter. He asked me what I wanted and I told him I wanted to have a seat in English.

He looked at me suspiciously for a few seconds and then said “No”. I asked him why and he said that the restaurant was full. I was shocked and asked him to double-check because I could see that there were still some empty seats. He then said, “No, all the seats are occupied”. This time, he looked at me with a hint of annoyance.

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I was starting to feel uncomfortable and I knew something was wrong. I asked him to check again because I really wanted to eat there and he reluctantly agreed. After he checked, he said that there were still some empty seats and he asked me to follow him. As I followed him, I could feel the other customers in the restaurant staring at me. I was starting to feel very uncomfortable.

When we reached the empty seat, I noticed that the waiter was avoiding eye contact with me. I asked him why he was acting so strange and he said nothing. I asked him again and he finally said “You look like a Chinese person”. I was taken aback and I told him that I was actually from Singapore.

The waiter seemed taken aback and I showed him my passport. I showed him my passport and he immediately apologized and said that he did not mean to be rude. He then said that he had mistaken me for a Chinese person and he was sorry for not noticing earlier. I told him that it was okay and I accepted his apology.

After that incident, I felt quite saddened by the racism that I had experienced in Japan. It was a reminder that racism still exists in the world and that we should all be more aware of our biases and prejudices. I hope that in the future, people will be more open-minded and accepting of people from different backgrounds.

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