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JAL staff churn out airplane-themed masks for child care centers around Narita Airport

Children put on masks provided by Japan Airlines in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, on May 1, 2020. (Mainichi/Tadakazu Nakamura)
A member of Japan Airlines' ground staff sews a mask at Narita Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, on April 27, 2020. (Mainichi/Tadakazu Nakamura)
A small towel with a cartoon drawing of a Japan Airlines airplane is seen on April 27, 2020. The towels are usually given to child passengers on the airline's flights, but are now being transformed into kids' masks. (Mainichi/Tadakazu Nakamura)

NARITA, Chiba -- Japan Airlines (JAL) ground staff at Narita Airport have made 1,800 masks featuring a cartoon of one of its aircraft for child care centers in nine nearby municipalities in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo.

The masks were made by hand from small cotton towels usually distributed to children on JAL flights as a souvenir. About 100 employees who normally staff check-in counters, boarding gates and other customer service facilities took on the special task during free moments at the currently scantly populated airport as well as at home.

Children aged 5 and 6 at the Narita municipal Nakadai child care center were among the lucky tots to get the masks. The delighted children expressed their thanks for the gifts.

A JAL staff member said, "I hope the children will put on masks to prevent infection (with the novel coronavirus), and to take planes after the end of the pandemic."

(Japanese original by Tadakazu Nakamura, Narita Bureau)

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