Papers on Ex-passport Center Staffer Sent to Prosecutors over Alleged Stealing of Sticky Note with Personal Information; 1,920 People May Have Been Affected

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Metropolitan Police Department building in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

Papers have been sent to prosecutors on a former employee of a Tokyo metropolitan government passport center on suspicion she stole a sticky note with the personal information of a passport applicant. The papers on the Chinese woman were sent by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Public Security Bureau.

According to the metropolitan government, the 52-year-old woman living in Nakano Ward, Tokyo, is believed to have illegally taken the personal information of 1,920 people when she was working at the center.

The papers allege the woman stole one sticky note in late March on which the name, address and date of birth of a passport applicant were written, the Public Security Bureau said. At the time, she was in charge of the counter at the Ikebukuro Passport Center.

Investigative sources said the woman admitted the allegation, claiming she did it to learn her work. No leak of information to a third party has been confirmed.

The woman was a contract employee at a private company that was entrusted with handling the counter and had worked there for about three years until March. The metropolitan government said it plans to apologize individually to the victims. There are no regulations regarding the nationality of counter staff at passport centers.