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Nihon Univ. Veep Sues Boss Mariko Hayashi for Damages

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Mariko Hayashi, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Nihon University Vice President Yasuhiro Sawada has filed a damages lawsuit against his boss, Mariko Hayashi, over a drug scandal at the private university’s American football club, Jiji Press learned Monday.

In the suit, filed with Tokyo District Court, Sawada is seeking ¥10 million in damages from Hayashi, chair of the university’s board of trustees, accusing her of power harassment, or bullying by a person in a higher work position, over the handling of the scandal.

In her office Sept. 4, Hayashi told Sawada to take responsibility for his response to the drug scandal, according to his petition and other sources.

Sawada’s side claims that she also told him that Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department was investigating Sawada although there was no such fact.

His side alleges that Hayashi banned Sawada from attending almost all meetings, including board meetings, from Aug. 22 to Sept. 7 without giving a reasonable explanation.

Hayashi’s remarks and behavior constitute “illegal power harassment to intentionally defame” Sawada, his side said.

The attendance ban was not necessary for the university’s operations, and it also lacked socially acceptable reasons, Sawada’s side also said, adding that Hayashi tried to give the impression that Sawada was the only one to blame.

Last month, a third-party investigative panel released a report criticizing Sawada for failing to report swiftly to police about suspicious items including plant fragments found in the club’s dormitory.

The 12-day delay was “the biggest reason the (university) corporation’s credibility was seriously damaged,” the report said.

At an extraordinary board meeting Wednesday, Sawada and President Takeo Sakai were advised to resign over the handling of the scandal. Both have expressed their readiness to quit.

Meanwhile, Hayashi has agreed to take a 50 pct pay cut decided at the meeting.