Watch: snowed-in Chinese tourists scuffle with staff at Japanese airport

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 December, 2016, 3:01pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 December, 2016, 11:29pm

An incident involving around 100 Chinese tourists at Hokkaido’s New Chitose Airport has triggered a fierce backlash after footage of the scuffles was aired on Japanese news programmes.

Fighting broke out at the airport on Friday evening after around 280 flights had been cancelled due to the heaviest snow in more than 50 years blanketing the region.

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Videos of the melee between Chinese tourists and airport staff and police officers were broadcast on the TBS News channel, while clips of the brawl have been shared widely on social media.

“This is the usual Chinese tourist,” a poster named Kato wrote beneath a YouTube clip of the incident. “Chinese tourists immediately rampage and repeat criminal acts. They are very, very savage.”

Another commented “Chinese ... no manners, no discipline,” while Yukiko Namie added, “Really disgusting ... never visit and trouble my country again.”

A number of anonymous posters on the 2Channel web site – which has a reputation for inflammatory comments – blamed the government for relaxing visa regulations for Chinese tourists or “promoting immigration”.

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Other messages described the perpetrators as “livestock” who lack common sense and should go elsewhere for their holidays if they are going to act like “barbarians”.

Several posters asked what the rioters thought they were going to achieve as there was nothing the airlines or airport operator could do if a blizzard had grounded the aircraft. Others asked whether those involved had been arrested.

According to police, there were no arrests, although two people were sent to a nearby hospital after getting caught up in the melee.

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A commentator on the dng65.com web site reported a claim that the scuffles began because only Chinese flights had been grounded due to the weather and that the tourists were accusing the Japanese authorities of discriminating against Chinese.

An unnamed poster replied “That kind of behaviour is the result of educating people against Japan, the United States and other Western cultures for many years. Mainland Chinese have become unconsciously patriotic.”

On the same site, another unidentified commentator said, “The Chinese are the worst tourists. This is the reason they are hated in Japan.”