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    Mar 12, 2015

    3 Chinese tourists cause flight delays in Japan


    DOZENS of flights in Japan were delayed, as an airport shut its security gates for about an hour on Monday, after three tourists from China ended up in secure airport areas without going through proper security checks.

    The three women had strolled off looking for duty-free stores while waiting for a connecting flight to Tokyo at Naha Airport in Okinawa. They wound up in the baggage reclaim area and at the departure gates, the South China Morning Post reported yesterday, citing Japanese newspaper Ryukyu Shimpo.

    After airport authorities discovered the security breach, 6,300 passengers were made to go through security checks again. Some five flights also had to be grounded and 25 more were delayed.

    Even passengers who were already seated in planes had to go through another round of security checks, according to a report from on Tuesday.

    Some of the airlines which had their flights delayed include All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Jetstar, Pegasus Air, Japan Transocean Air and Ryukyu Air Commuter.

    The brouhaha is the latest in a string of cases involving badly or oddly behaving tourists from China.

    Last month, a flight was delayed for an hour after a passenger opened the emergency door on an aircraft at a Nanjing airport. The reason? The passenger wanted a breath of fresh air.

    In December last year, a plane from Bangkok to Nanjing had to turn back after a Chinese passenger threw hot water at a cabin attendant because she was unhappy with the service provided.

    Many netizens in China were outraged by the latest Okinawa airport incident. Some netizens called the three women an embarrassment to China, the South China Morning Post reported.

    Said one person: "They should be banned from travelling abroad."

    In January, China's National Tourism Administration said it would compile a database of tourists with bad behaviour and circulate it among travel companies.

    Japan has become one of the top destinations for Chinese tourists in recent years. Some of the reasons include visa requirements being relaxed, as well as the high quality of Japanese goods finding favour with many Chinese tourists.