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Bus company disciplined after driver orders maskless passenger off bus

32 Comments

The Chubu District Transport Bureau has taken disciplinary action against Izu Hakone Bus Co, a public bus operator in Shizuoka Prefecture’s Mishima City, after one of its drivers told a woman passenger to get off the bus because she was not wearing a face mask.

The only two buses belonging to Izu Hakone Bus have been prohibited from operating from Sept 1 until Sept 25, Kyodo News reported. This is the first case in Japan where a bus operator has received disciplinary measures for refusing to let maskless passengers ride on a bus.

According to the transport bureau, the incident occurred on April 7. The woman boarded the bus in Izunokuni City, Shizuoka Prefecture. When the 66-year-old driver made a general announcement asking all passengers to wear face masks, the woman refused to comply with the request.

The woman claims that the driver did not ask her why she was maskless and that he just stopped the bus and put her off on a street with no bus stop. There were about 25 passengers on board at the time.

After receiving a complaint from the passenger, the transport bureau launched an investigation of the bus operator on April 22, and concluded that the Road Transportation Law had been violated.

Izu Hakone Bus released a statement saying that the driver told investigators he believed the maskless woman was unsettling to other passengers because of the coronavirus.

© Japan Today

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32 Comments
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Huh! Finally Japan is slowly showing signs of coming to their senses, common sense that is...

6 ( +27 / -21 )

I never wear masks and apart from being assaulted once by a security guard at a michi no eki, about three times some kind old ladies have handed me a bunch of masks. Nobody has told me to get off the subway or train.

-12 ( +19 / -31 )

I hate wearing masks but if the bus / train is privately owned, either respect the rules or get the hell off.

You don't go into someone else's house and ignore their rules. Pretty basic stuff.

13 ( +38 / -25 )

@Rodney

”I never wear masks”

Respect the customs of your host country.

@sethwright

”You don’t go into someone else’s house and ignore their rules.”

Vehicles for public transportation are not private homes even if they’re privately owned.

-16 ( +8 / -24 )

 but if the bus / train is privately owned, either respect the rules or get the hell off.

Unfortunately, many private-sector transport services are monopolies.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

No problem, both are warned now. She, that she might not travel full distance again if not wearing mask, and he, that he is disciplined or fired if he is again too strict and unfriendly to customers.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

if it's such a small company (two buses) it seems ikely that they service a pretty backroads kind of route. there are buses like that out here on the Bōsō, just 2 or 3 a day, invaluable to people who live in out-of-the-way places.... so it also seems likely to me that the ban will adversely affect the would-be passengers more than the company....

3 ( +6 / -3 )

“Private company, their rules” does not hold water. It is an issue of refusal of service. If a private sector company is operating a public service, they do not have the right to refuse service in certain cases. It is the same with other public transport, hotels etc.

In this case, the bus company cannot lawfully refuse service to someone not wearing a mask and so have been punished. It is the bus company here that is not respecting the rules, not the maskless passenger.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Okay, got it, but what about the people (as few as they may be) who depend on this bus for transportation?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

You don't go into someone else's house and ignore their rules. Pretty basic stuff.

Well as the “mask tyranny” crowd likes to say, they are “sorry if their freedom annoys you.” Know I guy who has resorted to calling the cops when they come into his store and start their “you can’t make me mask up” crap. All I can say is enjoy the Police Station, jerks

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Her choice good on her maybe she’s an asthmatic? I never wear one anymore, it’s been 3 years enough is enough. 3 shots caught it twice and still alive. Came back from aust and it’s a personal choice that’s it.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Unfortunate that the penalty meted was a further burden on commuters, should have been heavy fines only if possible.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It’s time to stop forcing people to wear masks now..

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Passengers suffer without a vital bus service for three weeks.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I’m back in Australia at the moment and people are back to normal, very few ( health compromised and health workers ) wearing the face masks, everyone else just moving and grooving on. People are happy, socializing and reconnecting.

It’ll take a whole bunch of these ‘happenings’ and official rulings for Japan to start to slowly feel comfortable enough to present their faces back to the world again and of course no one dares being proactive on the issue. At this stage of the game it seems many would probably prefer to just stay masked up indefinitely. The shortcut to thinking always an enticing option.

What’s the guesstimate? Maybe 10 years to get over the trauma and overkill. Never?

Becoming China always an option, (just locked down another city of 21 million after 100 confirmed cases, reasons? You don’t need reasons ) Mandates for mandates sake,

Control is the game no matter how irrational.

The choice is yours Japan, every single cultures litmus test. Ok, two years?

6 ( +14 / -8 )

3 shots caught it twice and still alive.

How about those you passed it on to? Its not all about you.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Yep and posters here claimed unvaccinated people would be isolated from society forever. And they were happy with that.

now they can’t even enforce a mask on a bus.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

How about those you passed it on to? Its not all about you.

It's everywhere man.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Presumably the bus company can set the rules on wearing or not wearing masks on their buses. But this article doesn't say whether wearing a mask was required of passengers. What a useless article.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

How about these people stop harassing elderly women?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

2 tora, yeah I passed it on to number of friends ( all lived ) coz I didn’t know I had both times, symptoms so light you can’t go taking a rat test the slightest runny nose, already used up several kits I had and they ain’t free in Japan.

covids finished for me.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Yep and posters here claimed unvaccinated people would be isolated from society forever.

"Isolated from society forever"!

Did Tucker tell you that this is what people were claiming? "Isolated Forever"!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Presumably the bus company can set the rules on wearing or not wearing masks on their buses. 

Presumably they can't.

The pertinent laws for public transportation list specific grounds under which passengers can be refused service.

Unlikely they have stipulation for masks or drivers and operators making up their own rules

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Isolated from society forever"!

Yep that’s what most of the gleeful posters here were saying at the time. Wrong- again.

i even said there would be lawsuits for people removed from their jobs. Me right- again.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“ The woman claims that the driver did not ask her why she was maskless and that he just stopped the bus and put her off on a street with no bus stop. There were about 25 passengers on board at the time. After receiving a complaint from the passenger, the transport bureau launched an investigation of the bus operator on April 22, and concluded that the Road Transportation Law had been violated. “

..

what happened to the driver (?) “moushiwake gozaimasen deshita + forehead touching the floor (?)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

unsettling to other passengers because of the coronavirus.

And that matters because?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

“ what happened to the driver (?) “moushiwake gozaimasen deshita” + forehead touching the floor (?) “

– that was disrespectful; I apologize.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most posters were claiming that the unvaccinated would be, "isolated from society forever"?

Where did I say “most”?

It’s odd that in desperation to be right people try to change the words into something that was clearly not said.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How could someone even argue against the fact that wearing a mask for 10 hours a day is not healthy and in fact detrimental to one's health? Even without a scientific background as most of the posters here are on Japan Today, anyone would know or lean this way. Indeed, it stresses the body. I would therefore posit overuse of the mask weakens the immune system.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Wearing a mask (under certain conditions) is a courtesy to others.

Please be thoughtful.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Rules are rules and breaking the law has consequences.

It's common courtesy to leave people alone and don't harass them, which is an offense and offensive.

There is no mask mandate in Japan so have to let people decide what they want.

If anyone feels inclined to wear one, they can and if they don't want to, then don't have to - rules are rules.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The bus driver just did the right things.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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