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A Japanese airline made a disabled man crawl up a set of stairs to board his flightby Circa News

A Japanese airline issued an apology Wednesday after forcing a man with disabilities to crawl up a flight of stairs in order to board his flight.

Hideto Kijima, 44, was boarding a flight last month to Osaka after a vacation when a Vanilla Air employee told him that company safety rules banned anyone from carrying him up the stairs. The airport did not have any lifts to move disabled passengers at the time. Kijima, who is paralyzed from the waist down, wrote in a blog that he was forced to crawl up the steps with his arms.

"We're sorry that we caused him that hardship," a company spokesman told AFP. The airline said that since the incident, it has made it mandatory for airports to have lifts for disabled passengers.

Kijima told Nippon TV on Wednesday that he was "surprised" when the airline staff informed him that he would not be able to board the flight if he could not walk up the stairs.

"I wondered if the airport employees didn't think that was wrong," he added.

Some said the airline had no mercy for the passenger.