3 Punished for Harassment over Suicide of MSDF Serviceman


Tokyo, Jan. 29 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese Defense Ministry's Maritime Staff Office said Tuesday it has punished three Maritime Self-Defense Force personnel over the suicide of a serviceman last year.

Following a probe into the matter, the office reached a conclusion that power harassment was a cause of the suicide of the MSDF ensign, who was a crew member of the resupply vessel Tokiwa, based in the MSDF's Yokosuka base in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo.

Cmdr. Yukinori Takagi, 54, who was the captain of the ship at the time, was slapped with a 30-day suspension from duty, while two other senior MSDF officials, who were the 32-year-old ensign's superiors, will be suspended for 20 days.

According to the office, Takagi admitted creating an environment for power harassment and throwing verbal abuse at the ensign. The other two senior officials repeatedly shouted at him and made abusive remarks to him.

Adm. Yutaka Murakawa, the MSDF's chief of staff, said it is "truly regrettable" that the abuse of authority by MSDF members caused the serviceman to take his own life.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press