National

Hokkaido University president accused of power harassment

JIJI

Hokkaido University President Toyoharu Nawa has been accused of engaging in power harassment toward university staff, it was learned Tuesday.

The university in Sapporo is conducting an internal investigation, although the 65-year-old president claims innocence.

The university set up an investigative panel after receiving a report regarding harassment by Nawa in November last year. It has conducted hearings with the people concerned.

Last week, a local newspaper and other media reported that the panel had confirmed Nawa’s workplace bullying and decided to ask the education minister to remove the president.

On Monday, he issued a comment denying what had been confirmed by the panel, such as reprimanding staff in a loud voice or pounding a desk many times.

A public relations official at the university said the investigation is underway, but declined to comment further.

Power harassment in the workplace includes abuse of authority, unwarranted acts or comments directed against others and infliction of emotional distress, according to the labor ministry.