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Health ministry suspends bureaucrat over drunken rampage at Korea airport

TOKYO (TR) – Japan’s health ministry on Monday announced the suspension of a male bureaucrat following a drunken rampage in which he assaulted an airline employee at an airport in Seoul earlier this year, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Aug. 19).

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare handed Kosuke Takeda, 47, a one-month suspension for assaulting a worker at Gimpo International Airport on March 19. He also yelled in English, “I hate Koreans! I hate Koreans!”

According to the ministry, Takeda acknowledges the facts of the case and is reflecting upon his actions, adding that he would like to offer a “deep apology.”

In footage posted online, Takeda is shown stumbling around in front of a boarding gate and taking swings at the face of the male worker who tries to restrain him. At one point, Takeda appears to kick the employee in the groin area. After the employee pulls Takeda’s arm, he slumps into a seat at the gate.

Airport officials said at the time that Takeda seemed drunk and became violent when he was told to wait before boarding a flight to Japan.

After detaining Takeda for a short time, police later released him. On May 29, prosecutors in Seoul did not prosecute him in the case. The month before, an out-of-court settlement was reached with the male worker whom he assaulted.

Kosuke Takeda at Gimpo Internatioanl Airport in March (Twitter)

Japan Airlines incident

The incident was the second involving Takeda during his trip. Two days before, he was not allowed to board another flight after he was found to be drunk and disorderly. During that incident, he pushed a Japan Airlines staff member in the face, police said at the time.

The ministry said previously that Takeda went to Korea on a personal visit, which began on March 16.  Upon his return, he made several posts on Facebook. In one, he wrote that he was not intoxicated at the time of the incident and that he did not assault anyone. However, he acknowledged being disorderly. He also admitted to making the derogatory statement about Koreans, but added that it was not “politically” motivated.