Reporting from NHK, Tuesday (9/15/2020) the incident occurred on Saturday, September 12, at Okushiri Airport, Hokkaido Prefecture.
At that time, nearly all of the passengers on the Hokkaido Air System aircraft, 21 out of 22, complied with the obligation to wear masks.
However, there was one passenger who insisted on refusing to wear a mask ahead of departure.
The flight attendant on duty then asked the man to wear his mask, so that the risk of transmission of the corona virus could be reduced. But the man still refused, even though the crew had persuaded the man repeatedly.
The man also did not provide any explanation regarding his reasons for refusing to wear a mask. Not wanting to take any chances, the man was finally asked to get off the plane.
The incident caused flights to Hakodate, still in the Hokkaido region, to be delayed for 30 minutes.
Even though it is still in the same area, it should be noted that Okushiri is an island with a minimal population.
So, the man without the mask left behind, of course, will find it difficult to continue his journey, even if he takes the bus.
The man finally gave NHK the reasons for his refusal to wear the mask. He said his refusal was due to a rash on his face every time he wore a mask.
In addition, he also said that the crew only asked him to wear a mask once, before finally deciding to put him down.
“I don’t want to talk about my illness in front of the other passengers,” said the man.
Regarding the incident, the Hokkaido Air System issued an official statement explaining that they did not drop the passenger because he refused to wear a mask.
The airline said their reason was because the man refused to communicate with the flight attendants, potentially creating an unsafe situation in the cabin.
“We decided that (the man’s) actions ended up disrupting order on the plane. If there is an explanation, we will make adjustments so that he can fly without a mask, such as booking another seat for him,” a Hokkaido Air System official said. The Japan Times.
Not the first
Incidents of passengers lowered for refusing to wear masks are not the only time this has happened in Japan. Reporting from The Japan Times, the case follows a similar incident earlier this month.
An aircraft operated by a subsidiary of ANA Holdings Inc. make unscheduled landings during its flight to drop off passengers who refuse to wear masks.
A Peach Aviation flight from Kushiro Airport in Hokkaido landed at the airport midway after a passenger raised his voice and intimidated the staff on the plane.
The incident caused the flight to arrive at its destination at Kansai Airport in Osaka Prefecture about two hours and 15 minutes later than it should have been.
“I’m worried because of what happened at Peach (Aviation), but I don’t think I will be kicked out,” said the man who was removed from the flight.