TOKYO (TR) – A male worker at the Shinjuku Gyoen national park gave free entry to some 160,000 foreign visitors because he was traumatized after he was screamed at by one in the past, government officials said on Friday.
An investigation found that the 71-year-old man, who ran a ticket counter at the park managed by the Ministry of Environment, gave 200-yen entry tickets for free to some foreign visitors from April 2014 to December 2016, Nippon News Network reports (Jan. 20).
The man told ministry officials that he was “traumatized after a foreigner yelled at me once. I’m not good at English and I was scared there would be trouble again.”
He added, “I did something regrettable.”
The worker erased ticket records from computers at the sprawling park close to Shinjuku Station. A colleague noticed his ticket machine was showing a high number of erased records, which climbed to some 160,000.
Financial losses resulting from his actions are unknown, but the man voluntarily retired on Friday and plans to return half of his retirement pay of 300,000 yen, NHK reported (Jan. 20).
The Ministry of Environment said “conduct training will be strengthened so that cases like this will not occur in the future,” and will consider re-training staff on interacting with foreign visitors.