I saw a segment on Japanese morning TV that is sadly typical for Japanese TV: give them an excuse to shame Chinese people and they will embrace it.
The segment started off friendly: apparently there is a holiday in China right now, so they sent a reporter to ask businesses how they are better serving the increase in Chinese tourists. The reporter also did his best to engage tourists walking around Osaka’s Dotonbori neighborhood, which meant he was approaching strangers and asking “Where are you from?” in English. Standard foreigners-in-Japan fluff.
But then cut back to the studio where there’s a graphic outlining all the “manner trouble” (マナートラブル) that Chinese tourists have wrought upon the world. They took off their shoes and sat in a fountain! They wrote graffiti on a historical site! A child peed on an airplane floor! Quelle horreur!!
My wife reacted particularly strongly to that last one, but why? We have two kids. They pee on everything. They pee on me, sometimes (against my will!). If a lone child should happen to pee on an airplane, how is that evidence that Chinese people (of which there are, I don’t know, over 1 BILLION) have “bad manners”? Why mention that in a story that should be entirely positive: more tourists in Osaka?
(And if a tourist writing graffiti reflects badly on an entire nation, then Japan you are fucked)
The answer, sadly, is that despite every public statement made by the Japanese government (and local governments, like Osaka!) stating the need for more foreign tourists, Japanese society still views foreigners as a risk that needs management. If you sit for hours on an airplane to come here and spend your money, that’s nice, but you’re also really imposing on the poor Japanese person who has to hear you speak not-Japanese and endure your occasional missteps. Won’t you think of the Japanese for once and stay home?
And as bad as general Japanese racism is, it’s one hundred times worse when it’s directed towards China. As I said, this "point and laugh" journalism is par for the course on Japanese TV. Any story on China, good or bad, comic or tragic, can segue into a list of grievances. “China is building a version of Paris? Hilarious! Remember that time they copied Disneyland and a bunch of Japanese characters while they were at it?” - how is this line of thinking relevant?
The day Chinese tourists form violent kung-fu gangs and start rioting in Namba, that’s the day you can start publicly questioning whether having more tourists in Japan is bad. Until then, they are here ON VACATION and handing your economy MILLIONS of yen in return for some good food and a couple souvenirs. Stop acting like there is any downside to that transaction.
And this from a country that fought so hard to get the Olympics!