McDonald’s outlet in Tokyo removes anti-homeless sign

November 01, 2013

By NOBORU OKADA/ Staff Writer

After being criticized as discriminatory, a McDonald’s Co. (Japan) outlet in Tokyo removed a sign singling out “homeless” people as unsuitable customers and telling them to leave.

The Keio-Hachioji branch in western Tokyo took down the sign on Oct. 27, more than a year after it was posted on a wall near the register.

“The sign was there, but I had overlooked the word ‘homeless’ until customers pointed it out,” the manager of the fast-food outlet told The Asahi Shimbun.

The word “homeless” in Japan can be considered an offensive term.

According to an employee, the message on the A4-size sign read in part: “We reserve the right to refuse customers unsuitable for our store, including unhygienic and homeless people.”

An employee posted the sign at the 24-hour restaurant following a complaint that some customers at night “have strong body odor.”

But the restaurant came under fire after word of the policy spread over the Internet.

“The sign was put up so that all customers could spend a pleasant time, but ‘homeless’ was inappropriate. We apologize for using the word,” a McDonald’s Japan public relations official said.

The PR department said it advised the restaurant to change the wording.

A new sign reads: “When we judge that your behavior is offensive to other customers, such as making noise, sleeping or being unhygienic, we may refuse to serve you.”

By NOBORU OKADA/ Staff Writer
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A 24-hour McDonald's outlet in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, not the one with the anti-homeless sign (Asahi Shimbun)

A 24-hour McDonald's outlet in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, not the one with the anti-homeless sign (Asahi Shimbun)

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  • A 24-hour McDonald's outlet in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, not the one with the anti-homeless sign (Asahi Shimbun)

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