Group wins access to Tokyo government info

The Tokyo District Court on Feb. 4 granted a citizens’ group access to Tokyo Metropolitan Government records on overtime work by its employees.

The court rejected a claim by the metropolitan government that releasing the documents would infringe on the employees’ privacy. The group, Setagaya Gyokaku 110-ban, had demanded the release of overtime logs based on Tokyo’s Information Disclosure Ordinance. The group suspects the prefectural workers used tax-funded taxi coupons — limited for late-night use — to go home even when they got off work early in the evening.

Presiding Judge Kazuhiro Tomikoshi rejected the government’s reasoning for withholding the records. He said the names and responsibilities of government employees are not private information.