OSAKA (TR) – On Friday, a former elementary school principal within the Osaka Board of Education who earlier this month denied charges of sexual harassment by claiming the deeds were in fact similar to that of the main character in the James Bond films resigned from teaching, reports the Mainichi Broadcasting System (Oct. 25).
In May and June, Takashi Yoshida, 59, touched the bodies of the female parents of students and sent them inappropriate mails, the board announced in early October.
At the time, Yoshida denied the accusations, saying his deeds were akin to that of the English spy James Bond.
“These were actions like 007,” Yoshida wrote to the board in a 27-page letter that explained his intention. “To get information from female spies, I showed them affection.”
He further said that the mails were in part intended to be “jokes,” and that he was not “consciously committing sexual harassment with his actions.”
In September, Yohida was reassigned and received a six-month pay cut. He was also enrolled in sexual harassment training.
However, several members of the board were skeptical of the punishment, saying they felt that Yoshida did not regret his actions.
According to the Mainichi Shimbun (Oct. 12), Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto showed some sympathy with the former principal. “It is a problem but I don’t think it is an unforgivable failure,” said the mayor.
In a two-hour interview with Yoshida on October 22, the board explained that he had made very little progress in his training. Two days later, the board suggested he retire voluntarily, which he did the next day.
Yoshida had assumed the post this spring as a part of a nationwide recruitment program.