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Junior high principal in Hyogo fired for stealing seven half cups of coffee

33 Comments
By SoraNews24

Fresh-brewed coffee has been a welcome addition in recent years to the already bountiful selection of goods and services found in Japan’s major convenience stores. For those unfamiliar with it, it’s often dispensed from a self-serve machine after purchasing a cup from the register.

Like many of Japan’s creature comforts, it relies heavily on the honor system because the customer can select between different sizes and qualities of coffee by themselves, often out of the eyesight of staff. But before you go remarking to yourself about how well-behaved everyone in Japan is, it should be noted that this system has resulted in the occasional arrest and attempted murder.

And now we have the case of a 59-year-old man who was caught nipping a little extra coffee with his order and was detained by police for it. His cover was blown last December when he popped into a convenience store during his lunch break and ordered a Regular Coffee for 110 yen. However, while at the machine, a little devil on his shoulder convinced him to press the button for a Large Coffee valued at 180 yen which filled his Regular cup to the brim.

He then left the store but just as he was about to get into his car, the clerk called out to him and reported him to the police. While waiting for the authorities, the clerk interrogated the man and found that he had done this twice before at that store.

The man was then questioned by the police but no charges were pressed and the man was released. However, since he was the principal of a nearby junior high school, word of the incident got back to the Hyogo Prefectural Board of Education who questioned the man once again.

This time he admitted to having misappropriated coffee a total of seven times since June of last year for an approximate total of 490 yen worth of ill-gotten coffee. He explained that the first time he did it, it was an accident, but when he discovered that a Large Coffee fit into his Regular Coffee cup and the staff didn’t say anything, he decided to do it again, even knowing it was wrong.

As a result, on January 30, the Board of Education handed down a disciplinary dismissal for “gross misconduct unbecoming of an educational public servant.” They also apologized “from the bottom of [their] hearts” for allowing this to happen.

Comments online were mixed, with some agreeing that a person in the delicate position of running a school shouldn’t get caught up in embarrassing scandals. Others felt that the punishment simply didn’t fit the crime.

“He was fired for stealing about 490 yen worth of coffee and wasn’t even charged with it.”

“He’s 59 too… I wonder if he still gets his retirement benefits.”

“Just say it was an accident, dummy!”

“It does set a bad example for the kids if someone isn’t held accountable for their misdeeds.”

“He could have bought like 100,000 Large Coffees with those retirement benefits he lost.”

“This guy gets a disciplinary dismissal, but principals who cover up bullying do not?”

“He’s an older guy, he probably could have gotten away with saying he didn’t know how to use the machine.”

“He threw away his life for 490 yen.”

“But when politicians do 1,000,000 times worse, nothing happens.”

Source: YTV, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Man arrested for buying cup meant for 100-yen coffee but pouring 150-yen latte into it

-- Man arrested for trying to kill a convenience store owner over a cup of coffee

-- Treat yourself to a luxury coffee made from a rare bean harvest at Lawson Japan

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

33 Comments
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“This guy gets a disciplinary dismissal, but principals who cover up bullying do not?”

This among a few other comments are spot on!

What he did was "break" the public trust, something he should be put into detention for maybe a month or so.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Poor Guy!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

You’d reckon with a high Principal’s salary that he would resort to stealing combini coffee cups. Pretty bad.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Hire someone to make it instead of this self service crap. Oh I forgot, you're too stingy aren't you 7/11.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Actually, he is lucky that as a school principal, he doesn’t get to serve time in jail.

Lesser mortals would already be incarcerated.

The real shame is that the school and students have suffered ‘reputational damage’

Although, Soranews has failed to mention details of the ‘man’ or the ‘school’

the details are already widely known in the prefecture.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

As a result, on January 30, the Board of Education handed down a disciplinary dismissal for “gross misconduct unbecoming of an educational public servant.” They also apologized “from the bottom of [their] hearts” for allowing this to happen.

Methinks if had been one of the many more egregious crimes involving students and principals the matter would have been handled much more discreetly and involved a quiet transfer.

If there is one lesson people learn from the J. injustice system it is that the severity of the punishment is inverse to the crime and status of the criminal.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

If the cup were filled right to the brim and then he got in his car, wouldn't it spill all over the place once he started moving?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Dismissed over ¥490 worth of coffee? I feel bad for the guy. Sure, it’s dishonest. But the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. There are other teachers and principals doing much worse and receiving little to no punishment. And the politicians who run the country steal millions and get away with it. Not fair!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

If the cup were filled right to the brim and then he got in his car, wouldn't it spill all over the place once he started moving?

The cups have tops.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Just stupid on his part to lose a well-paid job and the shame of being sacked over ¥490 worth of coffee.

Dumb is dumb.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Even my daughters are more honest than this guy. You play stupid games. You get stupid prizes.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Hard to know which is worse - the stupidity of what he did or the absurd over-reaction on the part of his employer.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's harsh, but his character's clearly that of a thief, so regardless, trust is shot, and pretty important that teachers set a good example.

Does any parent want a thief teaching kids or running a school? Not me!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If it happened to a teacher in the west nothing would have happened.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Combini clerks do check that from their computers. No need to play a dangerous game

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Teacher would be fired in many schools around world, especially private schools. Maybe keep his job in a dangerous inner city public school with teacher shortages...but that's about it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It seems there are inconsistencies in punishment among board of educators.

In Miyagi prefecture a teacher received a three month suspension for power harassment leading to the suicide of a female colleague. (yahoo news).

He has just returned from suspension “determined to never do it again”.

So let’s get this straight, you can lose your job for stealing coffee but not harassing someone to death? I think these punishments should be reversed.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

General public loses job by trivial cheating.

But most of hundreds LDP politicians can stay same position despite unjust funding or tax evasion.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Only in Japan do people fess up to absolutely everything they have ever done when rumbled for something. Everywhere else they would say 'It was an accident, I pressed the wrong button by mistake as I'm suffering from stress'. In the UK, I doubt the police would even bother attending a call about that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Combini clerks do check that from their computers. No need to play a dangerous game

Really? That's a dangerous game?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Teacher would be fired in many schools around world, especially private schools. Maybe keep his job in a dangerous inner city public school with teacher shortages...but that's about it.

They would sue for unfair dismissal. The punishment does not fit the crime.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Unbelievable...not that a human being would be tempted to fill the cup ---blame 7-11 for providing this entrapment---but that the employees would involve the police in such a trivial matter; seems like they could have simply called him out on it and made him pay up...and lastly that the local police would even bother with such a trivial event.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This is something we have all done by mistake. Pressing the wrong button on those machines. We all play the game, some of us can do it and some of us can’t.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

T I J: This is Japan

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Paul Spira

wallace

> If it happened to a teacher in the west nothing would have happened.

> Why not?

He wasn't charged or found guilty of a crime. The punishment must fit the crime.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Chico3

Today 08:53 am JST

Even my daughters are more honest than this guy.

Lucky you.

Whatta comment

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What a terribly queer affair. Well, hardly worth losing your employment for a little bit of coffee is it?

Silly man.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Twice I have pushed the wong button and realized my mistake just a split second too late. Each time I then called over the sales clerk and explained, and they kindly said "ok". I would really not be happy doing this deliberately though.

Honesty is the best policy. (Usually)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This highlights crime in Japan.

Those committed by the rank and file are punished to the max while those committed by the 'elite' are either totally ignored, swept under the carpet or are prosecuted leading to the inevitable 'suspended sentence',ie, no jail time.What a democracy Japan really is.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

wallace

If it happened to a teacher in the west nothing would have happened.

Which would have been the correct course of action, after being required to pay back the small sum of money the extra coffee was worth, of course.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Paul Spira

"If it happened to a teacher in the west nothing would have happened."

Why not?

Because it's incredibly trivial, and could be resolved by reimbursing the store for the tiny amount of money the extra coffee was worth, rather than firing the guy over such a small thing, possibly causing him to lose his pension so close to retirement.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

He wasn't charged or found guilty of a crime. The punishment must fit the crime.

Meaningless drivel, as he admitted he was guilty of the crime.

This time he admitted to having misappropriated coffee a total of seven times since June of last year 

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Filching a few half cups of coffee is such a heinous, audacious, crime I will be surprised if he does not get over 5 yrs in the nick for it. He shoud have worked as an accountant for the LDP. ....ie. Do the crime, spend no time. Having said this, the punishment from the school is way over the top and very harsh, I really hope he does not lose his retirement rights, he has earned them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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