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City official in eastern Japan suspended for publishing novels while on sick leave

This 2015 file photo shows the main entrance to Hiratsuka City Hall. (Mainichi)

HIRATSUKA, Kanagawa -- A city official in east Japan who profited from the publication of novels while on sick leave was suspended for six months for violating the Local Public Service Act, which prohibits dual employment, the Hiratsuka Municipal Government in Kanagawa Prefecture announced on Oct. 20.

    The 28-year-old city official earned a total of about 3.2 million yen (about $28,000) in royalties and other profits from four novels and their electronic versions between July 2019 and October this year, when they were on sick leave.

    According to the city government, the employee tweeted 9,531 times on Twitter, saying things like "My new book is now available for pre-order," and published 256 stories on a novel posting website. The official resigned the same day.

    (Japanese original by Yuki Motohashi, Hiratsuka Local Bureau)

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