Tokyo Metro Co. said Sunday it is taking disciplinary action against 19 employees involved in a scheme by nine deputy stationmasters who used colleagues as stand-ins to duck compulsory blood-alcohol tests upon arriving at work.
According to Tokyo Metro, the nine deputy stationmasters, all male and ranging in age from their 30s to 60s, were in charge of supervising drivers and conductors on the Marunouchi, Tozai, Yurakucho and Fukutoshin subway lines.
They reportedly tried to excuse their behavior by saying they did not want to cause trouble, as they knew they would be dismissed from duty if there were any signs of alcohol in their system.
The nine recruited colleagues as stand-ins on 17 tests between May 2013 and this October. Two were multiple offenders at four times each.
In addition to demoting the nine, Tokyo Metro said it also demoted another deputy stationmaster who instructed a subordinate to serve as a stand-in in one of the tests. The nine who served as stand-ins each received an official reprimand.
The company started investigating the matter in early November after being tipped off by an employee. It found that the device used to photograph the person taking the blood-alcohol test contained pictures showing they were not the deputy stationmasters.