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Friday, 10 October 2008

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Japanese turn their back on foreign tourists

Tokyo, Japan - "Don't come to Japan if you're a foreigner." That's the message from many Japanese hotels in a recent survey conducted by the Japanese Ministry for Tourism.

"We don't have Gaijin (Japanese word for foreigner) and we don't want them," pronounced To Henboku imperfectly, the self-appointed spokesman for the Stay Away from Japan hoteliers association.

The hostile anti-foreigner movement is worrisome to the Japanese government which is keen to attract millions of new tourists and business visitors to Japan over the next decade.

Kyu Ketsu, Tourism Sub-minister Number Seven, stated that his department is keeping a watchful eye on the growing xenophobic sentiment in Japan.

"Japan has traditionally been a nation of open hostility, I mean hospitality, to everyone. We are extremely diverse as a country. Not every man in Japan is 170 centimeters tall with straight black hair, glasses, wearing a tight fitting dark suit, and preoccupied with his iPhone and karaoke."

Tourism Sub-minister Number Eight, approximately 170 centimeters tall with straight black hair, glasses, and wearing a tight fitting dark suit, quickly unplugged his iPhone and closed the rice paper blinds across the open windows looking out onto the busy Tokyo street scene.

The government appears to be in for an uphill battle however as the Stay Away from Japan movement gathers strength. To Henboku explained that Japanese hotels were poorly equipped to deal with foreigners so didn't want them as guests.

"Let me put this as delicately as possible," said Mr Henboku with typical Japanese tact and diplomacy. "Letting Gaijin stay in our hotels is like letting in dogs and Chinamen. We have special hotels for dogs, but the Chinese and all other foreigners are unwelcome."

"It is not a prejudice. Outsiders do not belong in Japan, ranted Henboku politely. "We don't go to their countries in droves, not bothering to learn the local language or eat the local dishes. Japanese don't leave huge carbon footprints as big as Bigfoot from belching coaches all over the countryside. We don't trample all over botanical gardens or disobey museum staff to get a godzillion amount of stupid group photos that we'll never look at again."

Tourism Sub-minister Number Seven, Kyu Ketsu, refuted To Henboku's claims that Gaijin were unworthy of Japanese hospitality. "Just last week, I hosted a tourism delegation from Australia at my home. They were great mates and we drank a lot of sake and Fosters lager and sang karaoke all night."

Proudly, Mr Ketsu added, "It only cost me 45,000 yen to clean the vomit out of the carpets and another 76,000 yen to patch the holes in the walls. It was a small price for the Ministry to pay for such high-level cultural exchange."

Fern Bland is a British ex-pat who now lives in Tokyo and works at a sleazy hostess bar in the Kabukicho, Tokyo's infamous red-light district. Fern, who hostesses under the professional name Aisho, is unconvinced that foreigners are unwelcome in Japan.

"I've always been warmly received," gushed Fern, slapping on more white-pancake makeup to appear more Japanese. "The Japanese are real gentlemen. Sure there's the odd one who invites you to his place, sodomizes you, murders you and buries you in a bathtub of sand on his balcony. But it's not like that happens every day. Once or twice a week, tops."

Ju Jun Hausuwaifu, chairwoman of Stay Away from Japan's sister organisation explained that many Japanese women support keeping out foreigners.

"It's true that most Japanese women stay at home and never see a Gaijin their whole life. No matter, we still don't want them here."

Mrs Hausuwaifu continued in a subdued soft voice. "It's simple really. If Japanese hotels fill up with foreigners, then where will our drunken and philandering husbands go after working all day? We certainly don't want them coming home."

Mrs Niku Mareyaku, Sub-chairwoman Number Three bowed and pleaded directly to Gaijin tourists. "Please, we don't have anything against you. But please stay away from Japan. The mental health of 100 million Japanese women depends on it. Domo arigato."

There is one Tokyo hotel however that caters exclusively to foreigners. Bo Ryokudan manages the Gyangu Hotel in Tokyo's notorious Fokuoka gangster district. According to Mr Ryokudan, he regularly plays host to foreign visitors from Macau, Sicily, Columbia, Naples, Tel Aviv, Somalia, and Wall Street.

"We're all one family. We all bleed the same," snickered Ryokudan as he played with his nunchakus. "If the government doesn't sort out this Stay Away from Japan nonsense soon, I'll make a couple of phone calls on my iPhone. Consider it my personal gift to Mrs Henboku, Mrs Hausuwaifu and Mrs Mareyaku."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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