WHO investigating Japanese exec over tips on racist remarks

Reuters file photo
A logo of the World Health Organization (WHO), is seen before a news conference in Geneva in June 2020.

BERLIN (Jiji Press) — World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Saturday that the WHO is investigating internal complaints that Takeshi Kasai, a Japanese executive at the organization, has made racist remarks to staffers and leaked information on novel coronavirus vaccination to the Japanese government.

Tedros revealed this at a meeting of the WHO’s executive board. Tedros said that he still cannot talk much about the issue while noting that he takes the internal complaints seriously.

Associated Press reported that current and former staffers at the WHO’s headquarters for the Western Pacific in Manila accused Kasai, regional director, in an internal complaint and an email, saying that he made “racist and derogatory remarks to staff of certain nationalities.”

They also said Kasai abused his position to aid the Japanese government in COVID-19 vaccination planning by providing confidential data, according to the report.

Kasai has denied the allegations against him.

Kasai, a doctor, has worked for Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and the prefectural government of Miyazaki, southwestern Japan. He became regional director at the WHO’s Western Pacific headquarters in February 2019.