Hotel posts notice barring Russians, Belarusians, but later takes it down

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Shiga prefectural government building

OTSU — A hotel in Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, posted a notice on its website saying it would refuse lodging to people from Russia and its ally Belarus as an expression of its objection to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, it has been found.

The Shiga prefectural government issued administrative guidance Monday, as such a practice could conflict the Hotel Business Law that prohibits hoteliers from denying guests lodging without proper reasons, such as that the person has an infectious disease or likely takes part in activities injurious to public morals.

The facility deleted the notice from its website on the same day.

The hotel said it posted the notice on Feb. 26, and that it read, “We will stop accepting Russian and Belarusian guests from now on,” and “We voice an objection to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

No Russians or Belarusians tried to make reservations at the hotel while the notice was posted, and it appears that the hotel did not actually refuse any guests.

“We declared our protest against the Russian invasion on our website, but we should have been a little more careful,” a hotel spokesperson said. “We take administrative guidance seriously.”