Three-star sushi chef Hachiro Mizutani (R) of restaurant Sushi Mizutani pictured with former Michelin director Jean-Luc Naret at a presentation of the 2009 Michelin Guide Tokyo on November 18, 2008
2008年11月18号，Sushi Mizutani餐厅 的主人三星级寿司主厨水谷八郎和米其林前主管Jean-Luc Naret出现在2009年《米其林指南》东京介绍会上
A top notch Michelin-starred sushirestaurant in Tokyo on Monday defended its special reservation rules forforeigners after a report in Japan it had refused to accept a booking from aChinese customer.
Sushi Mizutani, which has two of thecoveted Michelin stars, told AFP it has an "across-the-board policy"of not accepting bookings by non-Japanese customers -- unless they are madethrough a hotel concierge or a credit card company.
"(Non-Japanese) customers may not showup for their reservations," a member of staff at the restaurant said,adding employees do not have the foreign language proficiency to explainrequirements to patrons.
"We prepare fish for the number ofexpected customers and have to turn down other requests for booking sometimes.We simply cannot afford it if people don't show up.
"We don't think it is anythingdiscriminatory," he said.
The confirmation came after a report thatthe restaurant, located in Tokyo's glitzy Ginza district, had refused to take areservation for Chinese journalist Mo Bangfu.
Mo, a resident of Japan for 30 years who isfluent in Japanese, intended to host three guests at the high-end restaurant,where prices start at 20,000 yen ($168) per person, the Nikkan Gendai tabloidreported.
The magazine said that as soon as hissecretary -- a Japanese woman -- told the restaurant Mo's name and contact number,the person taking the booking suddenly changed his attitude and said "somearrangements were necessary" -- indicating the reservation was notacceptable.
"We have an increasing number of casesin which people are abandoning their reservations," a restaurant workertold AFP, adding Japanese-speaking customers are called for reconfirmation afew days before their reservation.
The number of foreign tourists coming toJapan has rocketed in recent years as the value of the yen has fallen and astensions have eased between Beijing and Tokyo.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he wantsto attract 20 million foreign visitors a year by 2020, when Tokyo hosts theOlympics.
Despite decades of exposure to non-Japanesetourists, many facilities, even in cosmopolitan Tokyo, have difficultiesdealing with people who they assume cannot speak the language.
Tokyo has a huge selection of top-classeateries, and regularly tops the global list for Michelin-starred restaurants.
No one from the Michelin Guide wasavailable for comment.
Ningster 9 hours ago
In america, a bakery doesn't want to servegays, then it's a huge deal... In Japan, a restaurant doesn't want to servesomeone with a Chinese last name eventhough that person has lived in Japan for30 years... and is OK?
Homer 13 hours ago
orientals are the biggest racists on theplanet
you just don't know what they are saying about you
george 2 hours ago
Working in Japanese HS is crazythey wont leave you alone when ever you talk to the students they stand behindyou pretending not to listen to your conversation. When you leave your desk fora break they search the entire school to make sure they can keep an eye on you. I have even been followed to the bathroom !! Anotrher American teacher that Iworked with had a mental breakdown over this!! THey do not trust any one thebelieve that every outsider is out to get them!
Ningster 8 hours ago
RACISM IS NOT OK!!!
Michael 9 hours ago
Typical of the Japanese. This is why theyhave so much issues with it's neighboring countries, and the same reason theycommitted so many atrocities to everyone else.
Because they think they're superior race to everyone else, and everyone else isan animal in comparison to them. Just like Hitler and his merry bunch thoughtduring WWII.