Mask-Refusing Uncle” Who Delayed Flights Gives Astonishing Testimony in Court
He was so vicious that he obstructed the flight attendants’ work for an hour and even caused the plane to make an emergency landing. Depending on the verdict, I fear that there will be more copycats in the future. He needs to be thoroughly rehabilitated in prison.
At the trial held on October 26 at the Osaka District Court, the prosecution argued that the defendant should be sentenced to four years in prison.
Junya Okuno, 36, a former university employee, is accused of obstructing business and causing injury by refusing to wear a mask on a Peach Aviation flight and causing an emergency landing after a dispute with the flight crew. The incident occurred in September 2008. The incident occurred on a flight from Kushiro Airport in Hokkaido to Kansai International Airport in Osaka.
The flight crew repeatedly asked Okuno to wear a mask, but he stubbornly refused. When a nearby passenger said, ‘I feel sick,’ Okuno became even more agitated. He became even more agitated when a nearby passenger said, ‘That’s insulting! Apologize! He grabbed the arm of a crew member who tried to calm him down and injured him.
The captain decided that the safety of the passengers could not be ensured, and made an emergency landing at Niigata Airport en route. Okuno was dropped off at Niigata Airport, but the flight was delayed for an hour and a half. More than 100 passengers were affected. Perhaps unconvinced, Okuno called himself “Mask-Refusing Uncle” after the incident, and refuted the incident on his blog and elsewhere, calling it an “irrational coercion to wear a mask.
Research at the University of Tokyo Graduate School
Videos taken by passengers are immediately uploaded to the Internet. The video shows Okuno getting off the plane and the passengers applauding.
Okuno is a brilliant man who graduated from the University of Tokyo and went on to graduate school at the same university. At the time of the incident, he was working at Meiji Gakuin University. However, due to a problem on the plane, Meiji Gakuin University terminated its contract with Okuno. He was arrested in January 2009.
The Peach Aviation incident was not the only incident in which Okuno was involved; in April 2009, he was arrested for obstruction of public order. He tried to enter a restaurant in Tateyama City, Chiba Prefecture, without wearing a mask, was refused entry, and got into an argument with the staff.
At his first trial in May of this year, Okuno said, “Is it really right to avoid and exclude people just because they are not wearing a mask?
I am not guilty. I am very proud that I did not wear a mask on the plane. I have nothing to be ashamed of.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 14.
Photo by： Shinji Hasuo