Japan Airlines embraces gender neutral greetings
Japan Airlines is ditching the phrase "ladies and gentlemen" and instead embracing gender neutral terms during in-flight and airport announcements from next month, the company said Monday.
From October 1, JAL "will abolish expressions that based on (two types of) sex and use gender-friendly expression" like "good morning" and "good evening," a spokesperson for the airline told AFP.
In Japanese, the expression generally used for such announcements is already gender-neutral, but the decision applies to other languages used by the airline. The decision appears to be a first for major Japanese carriers, with a spokeswoman for rival ANA Holdings telling AFP they would "study the issue based on comments from our customers."
Same-sex marriage is not legally recognised in Japan but the government has gradually expanded rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens in recent years.
JAL last year operated a trial "LGBT Ally Charter" flight for same-sex partners and their families, and has already changed rules to extend spouse and family allowances to same-sex partners.
While Japan is relatively tolerant of homosexuality, there are no specific legal protections for gay people.