Japanese cosmetics maker Pola apologizes for racist poster

Updated 26 November 2017

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


Investors, scientists urge IEA to take bolder climate stance

Updated 30 May 2020

Investors, scientists urge IEA to take bolder climate stance

  • The energy agency’s head is under pressure to align its policies with the 2015 Paris accord goals

LONDON: Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), faced renewed calls to take a bolder stance on climate change on Friday from investors concerned the organization’s reports enable damaging levels of investment in fossil fuels.

In an open letter, investor groups said an IEA report on options for green economic recoveries from the coronavirus pandemic, due out in June, should be aligned with the 2015 Paris accord goal of capping the rise in global temperatures at 1.5C.

The more than 60 signatories included the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, whose members have €30 trillion ($33.42 trillion) of assets under management, scientists and advocacy group Oil Change International.

“Bold, not incremental, action is required,” the letter said.

The Paris-based IEA said it appreciated feedback and would bear the letter’s suggestions in mind. It also said it had been recognized for leading calls on governments to put clean energy at the heart of their economic stimulus packages.

“We have backed up that call with a wide range of analysis, policy recommendations and high-level events with government ministers, CEOs, leading investors and thought leaders,” the IEA said.

Birol has faced mounting pressure in the past year from critics who say oil, gas and coal companies use the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook (WEO) annual report to justify further investment — undermining the Paris goals.

Birol has dismissed the criticism, saying the WEO helps governments understand the potential climate implications of their energy policies, and downplaying its influence on investment decisions.

FASTFACT

1.5°C

The 2015 Paris accord aims to cap the rise in global temperatures at 1.5C.

But campaigners want Birol to overhaul the WEO to chart a more reliable 1.5C path. The world is on track for more than double that level of heating, which would render the planet increasingly uninhabitable, scientists say.

The joint letter followed similar demands last year, and was published by Mission 2020, an initiative backed by former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres.