• Kyodo

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A Ground Self-Defense Force employee and six officers have been reprimanded for playing numerous rounds of “park golf” while on work-related trips in Hokkaido in 1999 and 2000, the GSDF said Saturday.

The seven, part of a logistics squad in Eniwa, western Hokkaido, played the simplified form of golf during 27 trips to check equipment at other GSDF stations in Hokkaido. Officials at Northern Army headquarters in Sapporo said some members of the group played the game for three days out of a five-day trip at courses in Kushiro, eastern Hokkaido, and Obihiro, central Hokkaido.

The employee was punished and the incident was recorded in his file, while the officers received verbal warnings, both in September, the officials said.

Park golf originated in Hokkaido. Players use a plastic ball and one wooden club. The average fee is about 500 yen.

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