TOKYO (TR) – A staff member at the Shinjuku Ward office who is suspected of taking valuables from unidentifiable corpses has resigned from his post, reports NHK (Mar. 27).
On Friday, the ward suspended the male staff member, aged in his 40s, for a six-month period. However, he chose to resign that same day.
According to the Shinjuku Police Station, the former staffer is believed to have stolen wristwatches, clothes, cash, bank cards and bank books around last August. He is under investigation on suspicion of embezzlement.
The staff member was in charge of cremating unidentifiable corpses and handling the remains, police said.
The matter emerged last December when another staff member came forward.
During an interview with the ward, the staff member said, “I took [the items] home because to keep them [at the office] gets complicated.”
The pilfered items have been collected from the residence of the staff member by the ward.
Persons whose bodies cannot be identified are euphemistically referred to as “deceased travelers.” In such cases, local governments are tasked with eventually cremating the bodies.
Also on Friday, the ward announced the retirement of another male staff member, 28, after it was learned that he had misappropriated medical expenses. He had also been handed a six-month suspension.
“Since both of these cases are outrageous and undermine the trust in the ward administration, they were dealt with strictly,” said ward mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi. “I will do my best to prevent a recurrence and restore trust.”