So Japan is not so singular in the world. That's good to know. But Australia is about to change that long-time custom without any condition attached like the Japanese Soccer Federation whose head insisted that the team win the gold medal in order to fly home in the business class.
From The Sydney Morning Herald (7/21/2012):
Backflip on Opals travel
BASKETBALL Australia is set to rewrite an inequitable travel policy that saw the male members of the Olympic team fly to London in business class while the female team travelled in premium economy.
Under mounting pressure after the Herald revealed the Opals were given economy tickets to London while the Boomers flew business class, the national sports federation, which has a new chairwoman in the former premier Kristina Keneally, admitted its poor policy. Ms Keneally, who will begin in her new role on August 4, gave a scathing assessment of the travel policy.
''In this day and age, there's just no excuse for men's and women's sporting teams to be treated differently when they both compete at the same world-class level,'' she said.
(H/T John Noah)