Hilton to Continue Banning Sanctioned Guests from Cuba, Iran, N Korea

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) The Hilton chain of hotels said that it would continue to ban guests sanctioned by the U.S. government, including officials from Cuba, Iran and North Korea.

The hotel told The Japanese Asahi Shimbun newspaper that it won’t change its policy after an incident in October, when a Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk hotel in Kyushu, Japan denied service to an envoy of Cuban officials, including the Cuban ambassador, citing U.S. economic sanctions against the would-be guests.

But Fukuoka City said the hotel’s position ran counter to Japanese law, which doesn’t allow hotels to refuse guests based on nationality. City authorities issued an administrative directive to the Hilton hotel in response to the situation.

However, Hilton has decided to continue to follow U.S. law on the grounds that it is an American company. The hotel reportedly came to its decision following internal discussions after the incident.

In response, a Japanese government official from the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry noted that Hilton must follow Japanese law to operate in Japan. The two sides remain at odds on the matter.

Based on current U.S. economic sanctions, officials from Iran and North Korea could also potentially be affected by the hotel’s policy, observers said.

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