Mayor’s Verbal Abuse of Staff Recognized as Workplace Harassment in Fukuoka Pref.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Miyawaka Mayor Hidetoshi Shiokawa

A watchdog commission recognized a mayor’s verbal abuse of his staff members as workplace harassment in Fukuoka Prefecture on Tuesday.

Miyawaka Mayor Hidetoshi Shiokawa had been accused in November of nine cases of workplace harassment, including telling one employee to quit in the presence of other staff and being reluctant to approve another employee applying for childcare leave.

The city’s equity commission, which ensures the human rights of city office employees, had been interviewing Shiokawa and city staff based on these accusations.

On Tuesday, the commission admonished the mayor to never commit acts of harassment and make efforts to improve the workplace environment.

I deeply regret this,” Shiokawa said in a statement. “I’d like to sincerely apologize to the staff whom I caused discomfort.