People Keep Filming Japanese Flight Attendants Without Their Consent

A new survey found that about 60 percent of flight attendants in Japanese airlines believe they have been secretly filmed or photographed while on duty.
japan flight attendants
Image by Laszlo Ilyes via Flickr.

It turns out that flight attendants in Japanese airlines have a lot more than just demanding passengers to worry about. A survey released on Sunday revealed that about 60 percent of them believe they’ve been filmed or photographed without their consent while on duty.

The study was done by The Japanese Federation of Aviation Industry Unions, a Tokyo-based labor union, that interviewed 1,623 attendants from April to June 2019. The attendants were all affiliated with the union’s six member airlines, including Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, the country’s biggest airline.


An unnamed flight attendant recalled to the Asia News Network a time when she caught a male passenger hiding a camera in one of his socks. She took him to the aircraft’s kitchen and found out that he had several up-skirt shots of the attendants on the flight.

The unnamed flight attendant turned the man over to the police upon landing but she said she is unsure if any action was taken against him.

Of the survey’s respondents, 22.1 percent could confirm that they have experienced such incidents, while 39.5 percent believe they have been filmed but could not be certain.

Of those who have been photographed or filmed, only about 40 percent have taken action against their perpetrators, like handing them over to the police. According to 57.7 percent of the victims, they don’t usually take action because they believe there’s little they can do to combat the issue.

Local governments in Japan ordinarily enforce punishments when it comes to non-consensual filming but when it comes to domestic flights, these laws can only apply if the exact geographic location of the incident is identified. International flights aren’t subjected to the ordinances of local governments at all.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry of Japan said that such acts are subject to punishment, but only if the offence is repeated after a first warning. The country’s Civil Aeronautics Law currently has no regulations against it.

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