Japan's Rakuten CEO tweets Trump move to ban refugees makes him cry

Rakuten to offer free international calls from the United States to the seven affected countries


Reuters January 30, 2017
Chairman and CEO of e-commerce operator Rakuten Inc Hiroshi Mikitani attends a news conference in Tokyo February 14, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

In rare candor for a Japanese executive, CEO Hiroshi Mikitani of e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc condemned US President Donald Trump's move to ban entry of refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries, saying it made him weep with sadness.

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Mikitani said Rakuten, which is sometimes called "Japan's Amazon", would offer free international calls from the United States to the seven affected countries through its call and messaging app Viber.





Viber Media Inc, which Rakuten acquired for $900 million in 2014, had 823 million registered users as of September 2016. Calls between Viber users are free, but calls to non-users or landline numbers are usually charged.

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Trump said his directive was "not about religion" but keeping America safe from the threat of militants.

Mikitani learned to speak English at the age of 7, when his family lived in the United States while his father taught economics at Yale University, the Harvard Business School website said.

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