The JL350 Memorial

After writing a post about the Tōya-maru sinking, I’ve decided to write posts about a number of other memorialisation sites that I have visited during the course of my research. Most of these I plan to do on the anniversary of the event itself, but I may do a few additional ones in the coming weeks to cover those where the anniversary has already passed (this post was originally written on 20 March 2020).

In June 2018 I visited the memorial to JAL flight 350 (JAL350 / JL350) – 日本航空350便墜落事故. A summary of what happened can be found on Wikipedia. The key points are the plane was a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-61, registered JA8061, on a domestic scheduled passenger flight from Fukuoka, Japan, to Tokyo. The airplane crashed 9 February 1982 on approach to Haneda Airport in Tokyo Bay, resulting in 24 fatalities. The investigation traced the cause of the crash to the deliberate actions of the captain.

The memorial itself is hidden away from view by a number of hedges and, at the time of writing this post, its position was incorrectly placed on Google Maps. I have asked Google to update, so hopefully the correction will be done, but until then, if you use the map below, the actual location is in the red circle on the left of the screen, not where Google marks it.

One of my standout memories from when I visited the site was the number of stray cats walking around. But these are well looked after cats, with lovely shiny fur. Indeed, when I was there, there was a young couple feeding some of the cats. Stray cats seem to be a feature of the area around Haneda Airport.

You can access the memorial site easily from Tenkubashi Station. Terminal 3 (formerly the International Terminal) of Haneda Airport is also about the same distance away.

The site itself is very small and almost totally enclosed – just one side open for a view to the bay and crash site itself. There is one small seat, but the site contains no information about the accident itself or the names of the victims. You can find additional information about the accident at the JAL Safety Promotion Center (I will write a post about this another day). While there have been some improvements made to the JAL Safety Promotion Center over the years, it is still predominantly a museum for the JL123 crash and the amount of information about the JL350 crash is limited and so I didn’t consider it to be an modification to the memorialisation of the JL350 crash when I was looking at where modifications are made to public transportation accidents.

While you are in the area, you could also the Haneda Airport Shrine. This is on the ground floor of Terminal 1 of Haneda Airport. It’s hidden away and it’s in a room. Perhaps the strangest shrine I have been to in Japan, it was established in 1963 for people to pray for safe travels.

Haneda Airport Shrine

The shrine gets mentioned in my novel FOUR.

From what I can tell, there are no other memorials around Haneda Airport, including for two of the four major accidents that happened in Japan in 1966 (see here for my post about the BOAC Flight 911 memorial).

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