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Ibaraki civic employee nabbed in encounter with underage girl at hotel

The offices of the city of Hitachi
The offices of the city of Hitachi

IBARAKI (TR) – Ibaraki Prefectural Police have arrested a 28-year-old male civic employee for an illicit encounter with an underage girl, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (June 15).

On May 14, Yuta Watanabe, an employee at the offices of the city of Hitachi, engaged in sex acts with the girl, at the time 17 years of age, at a hotel.

Watanabe, who has been charged with violating an ordinance related to the wholesome upbringing of youths, admits to the charges, telling police that he knew she was under 18.

Watanabe joined the city in 2011. He was employed in the social welfare division until April of this year, when he moved to an activities section where he serves as community relations chief.

The vice mayor of Hitachi, Takanori Kajiyama, said at a press conference on Tuesday that the incident was unbelievable given Watanabe’s “diligent way of working.”

Mayor Haruki Ogawa offered an apology. “This scandal has betrayed the trust of citizens,” he said. “We are committed to tightening discipline for all staff, and we will do our best to restore confidence.”

The city is now considering a punishment for Watanabe.