Osaka Sued for “Unconstitutional” Tattoo Purge


The latest development in Osaka’s efforts to hound tattooed deviants from public service have resulted in a lawsuit alleging the purge violates the Japanese constitution.

The case is being brought by a 54-year-old Osaka city employee, who was subject to mayor Hashimoto’s glorious crusade against the evils of tattoos.

The city launched an investigation into the number of it employees with tattoos, and of 34,000 civil servants surveyed (for some reason excluding teachers, who seem to have managed to get themselves exempted) it was found that a measly 114 had tattoos of any kind – or at least were prepared to own up to it.

However, 6 employees repeatedly refused to answer the city’s questions at all, and this defiant insistence on the right to privacy earned them formal reprimands for refusing workplace commands.

One of their number, alleging the investigation represents an unconstitutional breach of his right to privacy, has taken the city to court demanding the reprimand be rescinded and he be awarded ¥5,000,000 in compensation for his pains.

He says the city repeatedly tried to badger him into answering their questions despite his clear refusal, and then threatened to sack him if he did not answer. He says he does not have any tattoos.

Online there are the usual outpourings of tolerance and sympathy:

“If he wins it is a victory for the yakuza!”

“5 million yen for being warned is too much, it’s not like he was sacked!”

“This is great – people have finally realised Hashimoto just tries to pick on the weak for his own ends.”

“Their tattooed employees ought to be publicly outed.”

“With any luck stuff like this will further turn people against the civil servants.”

“Civil servants must not have tattoos. A warning is too weak, they should all be sacked.”

“He’s suing them for reprimanding him for refusing to say whether he had a tattoo or not? In the private sector they would just sack you straight off.”

“Anywhere else this stuff would get left to sort itself out, but not under Hashimoto. Hard to believe Osaka is the only place with tattooed civil servants…”

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