Starting from 1st October, gender-neutral phrases will be used. For example, “pay attention to all passengers” or refer to passengers as “everyone.”
JAL is one of the few global airlines to accept gender-neutral greetings. However, this only applies to JAL announcements in English.
This is because in Japanese, the expressions usually used for such announcements are no longer gender-sensitive.
However, JAL’s decision did not cause any major sensation in Japan.
“This is a trivial matter that most people don’t really care about, because almost all Japanese-speaking passengers cannot understand or notice this change in English notification.”
Professor Kazuya Kawaguchi, a sociologist at Hiroshima Shudo University, told the BBC.
“However, as one of the leading LGBT-friendly enterprises [in Japan]… [their] efforts should be appreciated and therefore will be and must be a significant step forward to the improvement… of other LGBT+ issues. I think that it is important for big companies to start good practice[s like this]… because other medium or small-sized companies tend to follow.”
JAL follows airlines such as Air Canada and EasyJet, which adopted gender-neutral greetings last year.
It wants to “create a positive atmosphere and respect everyone.” JAL said in a statement to Reuters.
“We promise not to discriminate against gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or other personal attributes.”
Spokesperson Mark Morimoto told the news agency.
In Japan, same-sex marriage is not legally recognized although surveys show strong support for this.
Last year, 13 pairs of same-sex couples across Japan took legal action against the government and demanded the right to marry.
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