Flight Attendants in Japan Targeted by Secret Filming: Survey

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Kaisai Airport

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Some 70% of flight attendants may have fallen victim to secret filming or photographing while on duty aboard flights, according to a survey by the Japan Federation of Aviation Industry Unions.

“With many flight attendants complaining of having been targeted by secret filming, it is necessary to create a law regulating secret filming and photographing,” an official of the federation said.

The federation calls for adding secret filming and photographing of flight attendants to the list of acts jeopardizing flight safety compiled based on a transport ministry ordinance.

The survey was conducted online in November-December last year for flight attendants belonging to six member labor unions, with 1,573 giving answers.

Asked about whether they had any experience of being targeted by filming or photographing without consent, 38% of the respondents said yes, while 33% said they thought so, though not for sure, with the total proportion standing at 71%, up from 62% in the previous 2019 survey, which was the first such survey by the federation.

Of those who answered yes, only 22% said they made requests for the deletion of the images or videos and 18% said they gave verbal warnings, while 57% said they took no specific action.

The latest survey was conducted to build momentum toward the planned enactment of legislation aimed at criminalizing secret filming and photographing of sexual body parts.

Currently, secret filming is covered by prefectural nuisance prevention ordinances. The ordinances are hard to apply to such offenses on airplanes during flights, however, due to the difficulty determining areas where the acts were committed.

In 2012, a man was arrested for allegedly photographing inside the skirt of a flight attendant, but escaped indictment as the exact location could not be confirmed.