Calgary karaoke bar refuses Japanese patrons due to island dispute

The fiery debate over the true ownership of the Senkaku islands—or the Diaoyu islands, depending on your sympathies—has come to Canada. A Calgary karaoke club has stirred up local controversy for putting up a sign stating that Japanese customers would not be served.

Although Lips KTV and Club has since issued an apology on its Facebook page, many residents say they were appalled to see a sign outside the club which said “Diaoyu Islands belong to China. Temporarily not serving Japanese people.”

A manager at the karaoke bar told the Calgary Herald she was, simply, drunk one night when she put the sign up as a joke and accidentally left it up. The manager also made sure to assert that she was, in fact, partying with Japanese people at the time.

A photo of the sign eventually made its way onto Reddit, a popular web forum where users called the words racist and a violation of human rights.

Although the bar manager has since apologised for any offence caused, a similar message about not welcoming Japanese patrons was posted on their Facebook page two days before the incidence, and has since been deleted. The manager denied that the bar had any involvement with those messages.