Japanese cosmetics maker Pola apologizes for racist poster

Updated 26 November 2017
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Japanese cosmetics maker Pola apologizes for racist poster

TOKYO: A Japanese cosmetics firm has apologized for a sign banning entry for Chinese people posted in one of its outlets, highlighting lingering hostility to foreign visitors from some in Japan as it strives to extend a shopping-driven tourism boom.
Pola, a unit of Pola Orbis Holding, said that images of an “inappropriate” poster were shared on Chinese social media sites on Friday, without specifying the contents or location of the offending item.
Photos of a sign handwritten in Japanese saying “Entry by Chinese people prohibited” in a shop window were trending on Chinese and Taiwanese social media on Sunday.
Pola, which has around 4,600 stores across Japan, apologized for causing “unpleasant feelings and inconvenience to many people” and said it had removed the sign.
“As soon as we confirm the facts, we will suspend operations at the store and implement strict punishment,” it said in a statement posted at the top of its homepage in both Japanese and Chinese.
Pola’s mea culpa comes as Japan looks to boost a Chinese-powered inbound tourism boom ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics — a policy championed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.
Japan is weighing looser visa rules for tourists from China, sources told Reuters earlier this year, as it looks to widen a tourism boom and lend support to consumer spending.
Some 23.8 million visited Japan in the year to October, setting it on course for an annual record. Visitors from China — the No.1 source — climbed 13 percent from a year earlier to 6.2 million during the period, government data shows.
— REUTERS


China opens up finance sector to more foreign investment

Updated 20 July 2019
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China opens up finance sector to more foreign investment

  • China will remove shareholding limits on foreign ownership of securities, insurance and fund management firms in 2020
  • Beijing has long promised to further open up its economy to foreign business participation and investment

BEIJING: China lifted some restrictions on foreign investment in the financial sector Saturday, as the world’s second largest economy fights slowing growth at home and a damaging trade war with the US.
China will remove shareholding limits on foreign ownership of securities, insurance and fund management firms in 2020, a year earlier than originally planned, the Financial Stability and Development Committee said in a statement posted by the central bank Saturday.
Foreign investors will also be encouraged to set up wealth management firms, currency brokerages and pension management companies, the statement said.
Beijing has long promised to further open up its economy to foreign business participation and investment but has generally dragged its feet in implementing the moves — a major point of contention with Washington and Brussels.
Saturday’s announcement followed a Friday meeting chaired by economic czar Liu He where policymakers focused on tackling financial risk and financial contagion and pledged new steps to support growth, according to a state council statement.
Additional measures include scrapping entry barriers for foreign insurance companies like a requirement of 30 years of business operations and canceling a 25 percent equity cap on foreign ownership of insurance asset management firms.
Foreign owned credit rating agencies will also be allowed to evaluate a greater number of bond and debt types, the statement said.
US President Donald Trump has launched a damaging tariff war in an attempt to force Beijing to further open up its economy and limit what he calls its unfair trade practices.
The US and China have hit each other with punitive tariffs covering more than $360 billion in two-way trade.
Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to revive fractious trade negotiations when they met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan on June 29 and top US and Chinese negotiators have held phone talks this month.