TAKAMATSU, KAGAWA PREF. – A postal worker who said she was bored with work stashed away 29,000 undelivered parcels and letters over the past two years.
The 23-year-old woman in Mitoyo, Kagawa Prefecture, admitted failing to deliver the items, declaring she was “just fed up with the job,” Japan Post Co.’s Shikoku branch said Monday.
Her inaction represents a record of sorts: It is described as the largest volume of deliberately undelivered mail since the company was privatized in 2007.
The woman, whose name was not released, was assigned to delivering mail to addresses within the Takase Post Office’s district.
Japan Post said the mountain of undelivered items included packages, postcards and sealed envelopes. She stuffed them into her locker at work and stashed them in her car and at home over a period dating back to December 2013.
There was no word on how her actions went unnoticed for so long.
The misconduct came to light in October when a major customer lodged a complaint that mail it was sending was not being delivered. This prompted the postal service’s Shikoku branch to launch an investigation.
It consulted the Kagawa Prefecture Police as the employee may have violated the Postal Act.
“We apologize for causing so much inconvenience and we will put more effort into educating our employees,” a Japan Post Co. official said.
Officials at the Shikoku branch plan to visit and apologize to all senders of letters and packages found, and to refund the postage to anyone who no longer wants their item delivered.
The company said notification cards for the new My Number tax and social security identity system — whose loss could create a serious issue — were not among the hoarded items.
Japan Post has also been under fire recently for a series of incidents involving delivery of My Number notification cards.
The company’s Hokuriku branch revealed Friday that a postman in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, forged signatures on 21 delivery receipts to make it look like addressees had received their My Number notification cards. There were also indications that the individual may have forged signatures on about 30 additional receipts.
Two cases included delivery personnel losing notification cards and one in which a card was delivered to the wrong household.
Given the gravity of the My Number lapses, internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi on Monday summoned Japan Post President Toru Takahashi to the ministry and instructed him to prevent a recurrence.
“I think it’s a very serious situation, as such conduct may undermine the company’s credibility,” Takaichi said.
It is the second time Takaichi has summoned Takahashi over the incident. The first time was on Nov. 2.
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