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'Do something funny': Japanese female boss punished for power harassment

This screenshot from the website of the Chosei Municipal Government in Chiba Prefecture shows an apology by the village mayor following the disciplinary punishments meted out to its employees. (Mainichi)

CHOSEI, Chiba -- A female official at the village office here has been punished for ordering her male subordinate to "do something funny" after the directive was recognized as power harassment, it was announced on Dec. 4.

The Chosei Municipal Government in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, slapped the 42-year-old unit chief of the lifelong learning department with a 10% pay cut for three months for her harassment against a male employee in his 30s in the welfare department. Furthermore, a 44-year-old male unit chief of the tax affairs department was also hit with the same level of pay cuts for kicking the same male worker, among other harassment.

According to the village office, the 42-year-old female official demanded the victim, who was then her subordinate in the welfare department, "do something funny" in April -- an order unrelated to his job.

When the male staffer declined her request, the woman barraged him with insults such as "You are useless," and, "You needn't come here."

Furthermore, she also rebuked him over his work and private affairs several times, each lasting for 20 to 30 minutes, including off-duty hours. The female official has reportedly admitted to the accusations against her and reflected on her misdeed.

Meanwhile, the 44-year-old male unit chief was accused of kicking the same victim and inflicting minor injuries on him when they happened to be in the same restaurant in Mobara, Chiba Prefecture, in April. The 44-year-old was slapped with summary indictment for causing injury and was fined 200,000 yen.

In a separate case, a 46-year-old male assistant chief of the lifelong learning department at the village office received a 10% pay cut for six months for neglecting to register village-owned property when he was working in the construction department.

In a bid to take responsibility for these misconduct cases, the village mayor, deputy mayor and superintendent of education proposed that their salaries be slashed by 10% for three months by submitting a bill to amend a related ordinance to the village assembly.

(Japanese original by Mamoru Kanazawa, Mobara Local Bureau)

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