Osaka mayor's survey finds 10 education professionals with tattoos
The controversial local government survey in Osaka, in which all employees of the city government were pressured to provide information about visible and concealed tattoos, has found a further 10 people with tattoos working in schools in the prefecture, Fuji TV reported.
The survey, requested in May by right-wing Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, was criticized by lawmakers and teachers throughout the prefecture, where about 800 teachers and other school workers refused to respond, saying it infringed on their right to privacy.
Hashimoto launched the crusade to eradicate tattoos from the public sector, saying that the local government would block the promotion and advancement of any city employee who declined to respond to the survey asking them if they have tattoos.
A local lawyers’ group asked Hashimoto to cancel the investigation, calling it a violation of human rights. However, the survey was pushed through by the mayor.
Initially, the survey found that 110 workers reported having tattoos, including sea turtles, moons and dolphins. Many of the respondents work in public transport and the city waste disposal departments.
This week, the survey turned up 10 school workers with tattoos. One is believed to be an elementary school teacher and the other nine are thought to work as janitors or in school cafeterias, Fuji TV reported. Eight of the respondents said their tattoos were not visible. Two said that they were visible, but that they covered them up during staff meetings to avoid disciplinary action.
There has been speculation in the press that Hashimoto’s crusade may have been influenced in part by his father and uncle, who are rumored to have been gangsters, Fuji reported. However, the it is not known whether the two men had tattoos.