Back on Sept 7, Japanese airline Peach Aviation had to suddenly divert one of its flights due to an unruly passenger. The trouble started before takeoff, when 34-year-old Junya Okuno was asked by cabin crew to put on a mask, which he refused to do while demanding that the request be made in writing.
He didn’t become any more cooperative after the flight took off from Kushiro Airport in Hokkaido, either. When cabin attendants once again asked Okuno to put on a mask, he became belligerent, shouting and twisting the arm of one of the female staff, inflicting minor injuries. In accordance with Japan’s aviation regulations, the pilot deemed Okuno to be a safety risk, and so he diverted the plane to the nearest viable airport for an unscheduled landing so Okuno could be removed.
That turned out to be Niigata Airport, some 600 kilometers away from the flight’s intended destination of Kansai Airport in Osaka. Following Okuno being taken off the plane, which was accompanied by applause from several other passengers, the flight resumed, with its 124 travelers finally reaching Kansai Airport two hours and 15 minutes later than scheduled.
Even if Japan has a saying that “The customer is god,” there’s still a limit to the behavior that can be overlooked, and on Tuesday the repercussions for Okuno’s temper tantrum came literally knocking on the door of his home in the town of Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture. Doing the knocking were officers from the Osaka Prefectural Police, who placed him under arrest for his conduct onboard the flight.
Okuno wasn’t arrested specifically for not wearing a mask, but under the broader “forced obstruction of business operations,” a designation commonly used in charges related to disruptive behavior that creates an intimidating atmosphere in shops, restaurants, and mass transit vehicles. That would also explain why it was the Osaka cops who took him into custody, since Osaka is both where the flight was initially bound for and also where Peach is headquartered.
So really, Okuna hasn’t been arrested so much for refusing to wear a mask, but for being a jerk about how he did so.
Source: Mainich Shimbun via Jin, YouTube/僕はコジコジ【KojiKoji】
Read more stories from SoraNews24.
- External Link