• Kyodo

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Aomori has fired two drivers from the city’s bus services for concealing their college education, which it said made them overqualified for the job, the city revealed Friday.

The city transport department said the two men passed exams to be bus drivers. But the exams are only open to those with education up to high school level.

One of the two, a 43-year-old driver, had completed university education and had been driving for seven years and nine months. The other, aged 35, was a junior college graduate who has been on the job for five years and nine months.

In October, the city fired another driver after learning he was a graduate of a junior college.

Since then, the municipality questioned all 190 employees in technical services jobs, including bus drivers hired in and after 1996 when the upper education limit was instituted, officials said.

The dismissal of the two was reported at a meeting of a municipal assembly committee on construction and transport services.

Some members questioned the wisdom of keeping such a hiring condition, saying it could infringe on freedom of choice of job and raise questions as to why a university graduate cannot be a bus driver.

A municipal official said the pair were dismissed for lying about their backgrounds, claiming such acts undermine public confidence.

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