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Train conductor warned after apologizing for crowding due to 'many foreign passengers'

OSAKA -- A Nankai Electric Railway Co. conductor was dealt a verbal warning after apologizing to Japanese passengers for crowding on a train heading to Kansai International Airport with a large number of foreigners, it has been learned.

    The company said the male conductor, who is in his 40s, made the announcement on an express train bound for Kansai International Airport at around 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 10, a public holiday, after the train left Tengachaya Station.

    "Today there are many foreign passengers aboard and it is very crowded, so we are inconveniencing Japanese passengers," the conductor was quoted as stating in the announcement.

    After the train arrived at Kansai-Airport Station, a Japanese woman questioned a station attendant about the announcement, asking whether it was within the bounds of company rules.

    When questioned by the company, the conductor was quoted as replying, "I heard a male Japanese passenger at Namba Station yelling, 'All these foreigners are a nuisance,' so I made the announcement to avert trouble. I had no intention of discriminating."

    The company says it has received complaints in the past about the large pieces of luggage carried by foreign visitors, but the announcement made by the conductor was the first of its kind.

    "Whether people are Japanese or non-Japanese, the fact remains that they are our passengers. Language that sets them apart is inappropriate," a company representative said.

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