175 Chinese passengers attempting to travel to Shanghai on Wednesday were left stranded at Narita International Airport in Tokyo due to flight delays, with the tension resulting in a physical confrontation with Japanese police officers, Chinese news media Haiwai reports.
The flight in question belonged to Jetstar Airways, an Australian low-cost airline. Originally scheduled to depart at 9:45pm on Wednesday night, the flight was delayed for 24 hours due to poor weather conditions in Shanghai.
This left the Chinese delegation stranded at the airport, while five Japanese passengers were taken away by airline staff.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, a Chinese citizen attempting to visit a vending machine on the second floor of the Departure Area was stopped by Japanese airline staff, which lead to disquiet among the Chinese group and an ensuing dispute.
When the police arrived at the scene, they ignored calls for a translator and arrested one Chinese tourist.
Disputes between the police and the delayed party then broke into a series of physical conflicts. During the struggle, some Chinese travellers began singing their national anthem (see video above).
The Chinese Embassy in Japan intervened soon after, with some of the passengers returning to China in the early hours of Friday morning.
The case has caused consternation in China, with a number of netizens saying that the travellers disgraced themselves by visiting Japan in the first place – some Chinese still hold a hostile attitude towards the Japanese because of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945).
Others blamed the airline’s poor service and called upon customers to lower their expectations when it comes to budget airlines.
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