As some readers may recall, back in September, a plane for Japanese airline Peach had to make an unscheduled landing when a passenger was asked to put on a face mask and responded by becoming angrily argumentative. The flight crew decided to divert from the flight’s destination of Hokkaido and instead land at the closer Niigata Airport, where the man was removed from the aircraft before it took off again.
That experience doesn’t seem to have soured the man on travel, though, because on Nov 18, he was staying at a branch of the Itoen Hotel group in Nagano Prefecture. When dinnertime rolled around, he made his way to the buffet area and, sure enough, he wasn’t wearing a mask.
While the hotel allows customers to remove their masks for the purposes of eating while seated at their tables, it does ask that they keep them on while in the buffet line and moving about the restaurant. Unsurprisingly, though, when employees asked the man to please put on a mask, he refused, first claiming he shouldn’t have to because of personal health issues. When asked what his specific condition was, he offered no further explanation and switched tactics, saying “It’s not a legal requirement to wear a mask, so you can’t make me do it.”
It’s true that most of Japan’s mask policy compliance is based on common sense and courtesy, not the authoritative force of the law, so the man wasn’t necessarily being a criminal. If he wasn’t going to wear a mask, the staff asked that he at least switch to a table at the edge of the dining area, in order to somewhat reduce his proximity to other guests. Again, though, the man said he wouldn’t comply, so the hotel manager had to step in. Citing a section of the lodging contract that requires guests to comply with staff instructions, he asked the man to leave the dining area, while also graciously offering to refund the cost of his meal. Once again, the man reacted with anger, and the commotion brought kitchen staff out to the dining area, resulting in an even larger argument that ended up with the hotel calling the police, who dispatched 10 officers to the scene to diffuse the situation.
Eventually everyone calmed down, with no charges being filed and the man allowed to spend the night in the hotel as planned. The hotel also offers a breakfast buffet though, and, as feared, the man showed up for a morning meal with no mask. This time employees stopped him at the entrance to the dining area, and said that if he wasn’t going to put on a mask, he wasn’t going to be allowed in. He responded by trying to physically force his way past them, where he presumably planned to sit down and leisurely eat breakfast.
So the police were called one more time to come to the hotel to deal with the unruly customer, and the hotel again was generous enough to deduct the cost of the breakfast buffet from the bill for his stay.
The man is claiming that during the dinnertime argument he was grabbed and pushed by the hotel staff, which the hotel denies. The man also says that he plans to file a claim for damages, though his claimed injuries are as vague as the ethereal health issues he says keep him from wearing a mask.
Source: J-Cast News via Otakomu
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