If the sign says, “People who can’t speak Japanese are not welcome” would it be okay?

Here’s a story about the sushi place PM Abe took President Obama when he was visiting Tokyo last week. According to the writer, the place is overpriced, the customers are rushed through their meals, and foreigners are not welcome.

Someone told me yesterday that a customer caused trouble at this same restaurant because she said that she didn’t like raw fish and would they please cook the sushi for her? (Here’s that story in English.) It does make me think about the nature of sushi restaurants in some other countries: they often have many other things on the menu, too.

“The man who has eaten at every Michelin 3-star restaurant says the ‘Jiro Dreams Of Sushi’ spot is not worth the hype”

I was talking about this story with some people yesterday. We all agreed immediately that refusing service to foreigners (in any country) is unacceptable behavior for any kind of business. But then we got into an interesting debate about whether or not it would be okay for a business to post a sign saying something like, “Because of the nature of our service, it is important that you be able to speak and read Japanese. If you cannot, or if you do not have an interpreter with you, we kindly suggest that you enjoy your dinner elsewhere.”

 

 

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