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Japan Airlines Appoints Mitsuko Tottori as First Female President

January 17, 2024
Mitsuko Tottori

In a historic move, Japan Airlines (JAL) announced on Wednesday that Mitsuko Tottori, a senior executive, is set to become the first woman to hold the position of president in the flag carrier’s history.

Currently serving as the representative director and senior managing executive officer, Tottori, 59, is scheduled to assume the role of president on April 1, marking a significant milestone for the Japanese carrier, as reported by Xinhua news agency.

Mitsuko Tottori’s appointment not only makes her the first female president in JAL’s history but also distinguishes her as the first president with a background as a flight attendant, according to the biography attached to the company’s official statement.

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Yuji Akasaka, the current president, is slated to take on the role of chairman with representative authority after April 1, facilitating a smooth transition in leadership.

Having joined Japan Airlines in 1985, Tottori brings decades of experience to her new role. Notably, in 2020, as the senior vice president for cabin attendants, she played a pivotal role in navigating the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Tottori facilitated the secondment of the company’s cabin attendants to municipalities and other organizations during a period of difficult business conditions for the airline industry, as reported by Nikkei Asia.

This appointment aligns with broader efforts in Japan to promote women’s empowerment in corporate leadership. In 2021, the Japanese government approved a policy aiming to increase the ratio of female board members to over 30 percent by 2030 at companies listed on the top-tier Prime Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Mitsuko Tottori’s elevation to the presidency is a significant step toward achieving these goals and breaking barriers in traditionally male-dominated sectors.

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