National

Gunma bureaucrats get beard ban

MAEBASHI, Gunma Pref. (Kyodo) The municipal government of Isesaki, Gunma Prefecture, on Wednesday banned male employees from having beards, citing concerns that citizens find them unpleasant and that public servants need to maintain a level of decorum.

The city said it has received complaints from people offended by bureaucrats coming to work unshaven following a holiday, and that it instructed them to shave each time a complaint was filed.

“Some citizens find (bearded men) unpleasant, so (beards are) banned,” stated an internal City Hall notice.

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said it believes Isesaki is the only municipality with such a policy.

Although public opinion has become more tolerant of beards, “public servants should look like public servants,” an Isesaki official said.