Japanese travel agency backs down over college girl campaign

HIS Japan apologises after suffering sexism backlash for promotion guaranteeing passengers a seat next to a female college student.

HIS, one of Japan’s leading travel agencies, has scrubbed a campaign in which it offered passengers the chance to fly sat next to college girls from the prestigious University of Tokyo.

The promotion was launched yesterday but was fiercely criticised as sexist on social media, prompting HIS to abandon the plan.

The campaign would have seen five winners get the chance to sit next to one of five female students from the university: two engineers, a science student, a literature student or an education student.

According to Japanese press, all five feature in the Todai Bijo Zukan, which translates as Picture Book of Beautiful Girls at Todai, the colloquial name for the University of Tokyo.

HIS offered the promotion as a chance to "spend their time in the air in a meaningful way" by having the female companion educate them about her studies or the destination they are travelling to.

But given the volume of complaints, the promotion was scrapped the same day it was announced, with all promotional material removed from the web.

In a statement, HIS said: "We would like to deeply apologise for the discomfort caused by certain portions of the plan. We have taken the complaints to heart, and have cancelled the [promotion]."

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