I have heard a claim that Japanese airlines used to have a poor safety record. Allegedly, this was ascribed to a strong emphasis on teacher - master relationship that made it difficult for junior pilots to expresses their concerns leading to potentially dangerous situations that could be averted in a more collaborative work environment.


  1. Is there a period in history when Japanese airlines used to have comparatively poor safety record?
  2. If so, does any research point to reason being the teacher - master collaboration?

What I have tried

Googling safety record of Japanese airlines. Majority of articles on the subject, which I have found, point to the strong safety record of Japanese airlines. The exception is one article from The New York Times that mentions:

TOKYO, Oct. 4 - Officials of Japan Airlines like to boast about their impressive safety record: 20 years and more than 600 million passengers without a fatality. That is a particular achievement in travel-crazy Japan, where airports are often small and overcrowded, and airlines, like trains and buses, stay on schedule like clockwork. This year, however, a string of nonlethal accidents, from an exploding engine to tires falling off a passenger jet, have spurred questions by airline experts and employees about the airline, which has been hit by the same price competition and high fuel costs as the old-line American carriers.

  • 2
    Anecdotally, I've heard the same thing said about Korean airlines, and for the same reason (co-pilots being afraid to speak out against their more experienced captains). An example.
    – F1Krazy
    May 3 '20 at 18:36
  • 3
    Where did you hear this claim, Konrad?
    – Oddthinking
    May 3 '20 at 21:08
  • @Oddthinking Anecdote someone mentioned during a conversation on another subject.
    – Konrad
    May 3 '20 at 21:10
  • 1
    You are probably thinking of supposed problems with Korean captains and their juniors. That's described in Are more crash due to captain than first officer, because they ignore the first officer? (Can't vote to close as duplicate as it doesn't have any answers.) May 4 '20 at 10:58
  • Is it sad that I half expected to find a Kamikaze joke here?
    – cpcodes
    May 4 '20 at 16:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .