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Health ministry staffer attempted suicide by leap from office window

TOKYO (TR) – The health ministry has been a source of controversy ever since staff members attended a farewell party late into the night in March, this despite a government request about refraining from such activities due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

But that was not the only issue to unfold within the ministry that month.

According to weekly tabloid Shukan Bunshun (April 15), a male staff member attempted suicide by leaping from a ministry office building in Chiyoda Ward.

The staff member, aged in his 40s, worked in a pension division.

“He is an avid reader,” said a source within the ministry. “I always saw him with books of a variety of genres. He worked working seriously at his own pace.”

Shukan Bunshun April 15

“It was a hectic scene”

Early on March 22, the staff member received a notice that he was being transferred to another department. “Thank you very much,” he wrote to a colleague.

The staff member then took a hammer and smashed a glass window on the eighth floor of Central Government Building No. 5. When he tried to leap out the window, his body got caught on the jagged glass.

“There was blood all over his body,” another ministry source tells the magazine. “It was a hectic scene as other staffers and executives arrived for work thereafter.”

The staff member was taken to a hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. But due to the coronavirus outbreak, there was no space for him at the hospital. He is now recuperating at the residence of relative, according to the magazine.

“I know about it”

“The broken glass — yes, I know about it,” said vice minister Hideki Tarumi after being briefed on the matter. “As to the reason [for how it got broken], that is under investigation.”

After Bunshun wrote to the ministry in seeking comment on the matter, a representative responded, “Since we are confirming the facts of the case, we have nothing to say.”

According to the magazine, the email sent by the staff member also said that he had been power harassed by his superior.