TOTTORI (TR) – Freshening up one’s life can come in variety of forms, with visiting an onsen (hot springs) or starting a garden being two examples.
But one Air Self-Defense Forces staff member had a most unique means — and, dear reader, let’s just say it did not involve any “social distancing,” local media reported last week.
The Ministry of Defense on April 15 announced the 60-day suspension of the technical sergeant, 47, who is stationed at ASDF’s Miho Air Base in Sakaiminato City. But the sergeant instead chose to retire from his post.
According to the ministry, the sergeant was accused of placing his face within 10 and 20 centimeters of the buttocks of women at a discount department store in Yonago City last July 15 and 21.
“I did it to refresh my face,” the sergeant reportedly said in explaining his motivation. He also said that he carried out the very same act about 500 times over a 6-year period.
The Miho Air Base is the central intelligence agency for the Ministry of Defense. It analyzes matters related to national security.
The matter emerged after an employee at the store lodged a report with police. The sergeant was later sent to prosecutors for violating a public nuisance ordinance. He was subsequently not prosecuted.
However, the prosecutor’s office sent documents describing the content of the incident to the ASDF last November.
Evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai (Apr. 19) dialed up the general affairs section at the base, which emphasized that the 500 figure was merely the sergeant’s claim. “It is possible that he did it at in multiple places within the prefecture,” a representative was quoted. “We don’t know if he did it 500 times and was never caught, or if the victims were reluctant to speak out. But the fact is that the police never caught him and nobody said anything [until last year].”
With the act differing from similar crimes, including tosatsu (voyeur photography) or chikan (molestation), Gendai wonders how the 60-day figure came to be.
The general affairs representative said that one factor was that the act — assuming he was telling the truth regarding to the frequency — had become habitual. The representative also mentioned that the standards for punishments tightened due to a revision in 2018.
“Regarding a punishment, it was difficult to decide what to do since it was not possible to compare it with past cases,” the representative said. “Why 60 days? I don’t have an answer.”