By Barrier Free Japan
May 18 2023
JAPAN – The magazine ‘Newsweek Japan’ commented on the Hiroshima Mazda disability TikTok Video’ controversy saying it served as a reminder of how far Japanese corporate society is separated from global standards.
In response to the spread of a video of a Hiroshima Mazda employee in an electric wheelchair imitating a disabled person and laughing, which caused a firestorm, Hiroshima Mazda released a written statement on April 30 explaining that it never intended to make fun of the disabled person.
On May 17th ‘Newsweek Japan’ published an editorial saying it: “…served as a reminder of how far Japanese corporate society is separated from global standards…the apology was unbelievable, as it apologised not to the disabled but to “customers and all concerned” for “causing concern and inconvenience”.
The Newsweek article pointed out that Mazda “only defended the employee who posted the video, saying that he had not meant to make fun of the disabled, and only issued a “stern warning” for his “thoughtless behaviour”, adding that:
“[I]n Japan, people are free to say whatever they want as long as there is no intention to discriminate, and as long as there is no intention, it is taken for granted that they do not apologise directly to the person concerned, which is significantly different from the values in the global corporate society.
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