Man is Forced Off Flight in Japan for Refusing to Wear a Face Mask

Man is Forced Off Flight in Japan for Refusing to Wear a Face Mask

September 11, 2020
A plane passenger aboard a domestic flight in Japan was removed from the aircraft because he did not want to wear a protective mask. 
Captured on video: Footage of the incident emerged online showing a man threatening cabin crew and yelling at fellow passengers of budget carrier Peach Aviation.
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

  • The incident started just before the departure of the flight from Kushiro in Hokkaido for Kansai Airport on September 7, Japan Times reported.
  • A cabin crew member had reportedly noticed the man not wearing a mask and advised him to do so per airline protocol. The man was given warnings to urge him to comply with the rules.
  • However, he resorted to screaming threats at crew members instead of simply following regulations. 
  • The flight attendants then asked passengers near the stubborn passenger to move to seats away from him to mitigate any risk of a COVID-19 infection.
  • The disturbance and the eventual seat-swapping resulted in a 45-minute delay in the flight’s take-off.
Booted off:  Soon after the plane departed, the man went on to bother other passengers around him, The Asahi Shimbun reported.
  • The flight attendants tried to intervene and calm him down as he continued to ignore them.
  • Convinced that the unruly man was becoming a flight risk, the plane’s captain decided to make an emergency landing at Niigata Airport where the passenger was removed from the flight.
  • The plane was two hours and 15 minutes late when it eventually reached Kansai Airport.
  • Airline officials are now seeking 500,000 yen ($4,700) in compensation from the disruptive man for his actions.
  • “We can ask passengers to wear face masks but we cannot force them to do so,” an airline official was quoted as saying. “We cannot refuse passengers from boarding even if they don’t wear one. On this occasion, the passenger disrupted the flight, so we forced him to get off.”
Feature Image via 旅人レオ
      Ryan General

      Ryan General is a Senior Reporter for NextShark




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.