OSAKA – Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto has told city executives via email that he will not authorize the promotion of any municipal worker who fails to respond to a survey asking if they have tattoos, sources said Tuesday.
The Saturday email followed the collection of replies to the city’s survey, to which 513 workers had not responded as of May 16.
On Hashimoto’s order, the city called on section chiefs to urge those who refused to answer the survey or provided blank responses to submit replies.
“In line with a thorough legal review, we have appropriately worked out administrative details and implemented them,” his email said. “Please be advised that you should draw up lists urgently of those workers who have not responded in each section.”
On Tuesday at City Hall, Hashimoto told reporters that the survey is “necessary for labor affairs management. If someone does not publicly follow the order (to reply), there’s no need for me to promote them.”
The survey, conducted between May 1 and 10, covered around 33,000 employees, excluding those working for the board of education. About 110 responded that they had tattoos.
Meanwhile, the Osaka municipal board of education put off making a decision Tuesday on a proposal to find out if any teachers have tattoos. The proposal was made by the board’s secretariat but met opposition from board members.
The tattoo survey was carried out at the request of Hashimoto, who was infuriated by revelations in March that a worker at a children’s home threatened kids by showing his tattoos.
“Citizens feel uneasy or intimidated if they see tattoos (on workers) in services, and it undermines trust in the city,” Hashimoto said earlier. “We need to grasp what the (tattoo) situation is and reposition personnel.”
The poll asked if employees have tattoos on their neck and above, on their arms or hands, and from their knees to the toes. Those with tattoos had to indicate their location and size. Workers were also asked to respond voluntarily if they have tattoos on parts of the body normally covered by clothing and when they got them — before or after they started working for the city.