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Japan city employee suspended 2 months for being late avg. of 5 min. for 8 years

A time card system. (Getty)

TOKUSHIMA -- A municipal employee in a western Japanese city has been suspended for two months for allegedly being an average of five minutes late nearly every day for eight straight years.

The 51-year-old assistant director of a cultural hall in Mima, Tokushima Prefecture, apparently arrived on-time for her 8:30 a.m. start just twice or three times per month from April 2012 to March 2020 and was tardy by between a few and 20 minutes on a daily basis -- equivalent to about 20 days of unexcused absences in total.

The Mima government uncovered the assistant director's behavior after receiving an anonymous tip on March 26. When officials questioned her the next day, she was quoted as telling them, "I had been in bad physical condition." She stopped arriving late after the introduction in April of time card systems at the cultural hall, fire stations and other municipal facilities.

A total of four staff work at the cultural hall in question, Former directors apparently warned the 51-year-old several times, but she continued to be late. The city government also slapped the present director and their predecessor with three- and one-month pay cuts, respectively, for failing to execute their supervisory responsibilities.

(Japanese original by Ayane Matsushima, Tokushima Bureau)

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