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THE MAINICHI / KYODO (Japan)

TOKYO - Japan's low cost carrier Skymark Airlines has found a new and unusual way to cut costs. Since May, passengers have been advised not to complain or to ask for help on board, and crew members have been told not to be helpful or nice.

The airline hopes to save money by "simplifying services." A brochure placed in the airplanes' seat pockets explains to the passengers that they aren't allowed to complain while on the plane – if they have an issue, they can call customer service after the flight has landed. Skymark Airlines also doesn't ask its crew "to use polite words' when speaking to the passengers and tells them not to help load bags into the overhead bins, The Mainichi reports.

In a country where politeness and protocol are the pillars of society, a way of life, Skymark's idea for cost cutting is quite a revolution. Some are worried this might put a dent into Japanese airlines' pristine reputation.

Photo from Geofrog

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War In Ukraine, Day 281: Top European Leader Pushes Xi Jinping To Use His Influence On Putin

Charles Michel and Xi-Jinping

Cameron Manley, Bertrand Hauger and Emma Albright

European Council Chief Charles Michel used much of his face-to-face meeting Thursday in Beijing with Xi Jinping to urge the Chinese President to use his sway over Russian President Vladimir Putin “to end the war and to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine.”

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Michel’s visit was the first official trip to Beijing by a top EU leader since the pandemic. The three-hour sit down (considered quite long for Xi) also included discussion of human rights, Taiwan, trade relations and climate change.

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