Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima has banned all public servants from consuming alcohol outside their homes for one month.
The unusual move was announced at an emergency meeting on Monday and is said to be the result of a series of scandals involving city employees, Fuji TV reports.
A 52-year-old port and harbor bureau official was arrested for assaulting a taxi driver on May 18. It was also reported that a 48-year-old official from the child care division was arrested last week for assaulting a former colleague. Both incidents are believed to have been alcohol-related.
At the meeting on Monday, Takashima told department managers that he hoped the shock of the announcement would make employees more aware of the seriousness of recent incidents and of their responsibility to their communities, Fuji TV reported.
Legal experts say the mayor’s request is exceptional partly because no law exists to enforce a drinking ban on city employees, meaning public servants cannot legally be disciplined or fired for ignoring the ban. However, the city is said to be “strictly enforcing” its no-alcohol policy.