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Man fired for lying on resume by saying he had less education than he really does

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Lying on your resume is never a good idea, but the temptation is too great for some job applicants to resist. A perfect deception is a very hard thing to pull off, though, which is why you’ll periodically hear about someone getting caught not having the credentials they said they did and having to face the proverbial/professional music.

In the latest such case, a city employee in Kobe was dismissed from his position last Friday. An investigation discovered that the man, a 48-year-old employee with the municipal waterworks bureau, has a four-year university degree, but had claimed differently when applying for, and obtaining, a job with the department back in 1996.

So if he concealed the truth that he’d graduated from a four-year program, then a post-graduate degree, maybe even a doctorate, must have been a pre-requisite for the job, right? Nope. As it turns out, the employee was fired not for being secretly underqualified for the job, but secretly overqualified. The position he applied for specifically stated that it was for applicants whose highest level of education was high school or below (in Japan, compulsory education stops after junior high).

The man claims that at the time he applied for the job, he wasn’t aware that his higher education level would be an issue. However, following a 2006 incident in which a number of Kobe city employees were found to have given false information regarding their education, the man once again gave his as “high school graduate” when asked to reconfirm his resume contents. In March, though, city officials received an anonymous tip regarding the man’s university education, and the resulting investigation led to his dismissal.

Ending the 24-year career of someone who was apparently good enough at his job to be retained for all that time over having too much education definitely feels like backwards logic in many ways, but it’s likely the situation isn’t quite that simple. For starters, “I didn’t tell the truth, but it’s OK because I’m good at my job” is never an attitude that’s going to win you many points with the HR department. There may also be an issue that’s just as big, if not bigger, stemming from the position having a maximum education level to begin with. From a hirer’s standpoint, education is usually a the-more-the-better asset, so the presence of a cap suggests that the position the man applied for may have been specifically earmarked to help those with lower education levels, and by correlation less privileged family backgrounds, earn a living as a public employee.

In any case, the man is now out of a job, and ostensibly the department will be looking to hire a replacement, and so candidates will want to be completely forthright on their applications.

Sources: Kobe Shimbun Next via JinAsahi Shimbun Digital

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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-- Osaka welfare clerk denies application, suggests woman seek work in the sex industry

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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A four-year university degree in Japan means nothing and pretty much means low qualification anyway.

18 ( +26 / -8 )


its not just in japan its all over the world, and even if you get better education they will say your over qualified !! so ur not getting the job if u dont know someone who can help u get it

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Ridiculous story.

back in 1996

And it only took the city 24 years to figure this out?

18 ( +20 / -2 )

He was cheating on the employment rule designated (publicly addressed) specifically for lesser degree holders. With him being taken, another qualified candidate unfairly missed an employment opportunity. It's a bit irrelevant to argue how well he fits in to the job.

We shouldn't mix up this "unlawful" case with other issues such as overqualified candidates under hardship of unemployment/under-employment, real value of higher education for career development, etc. Personally I don't count much on higher degrees for successful professional life.... in a way I am a living proof...

All in all, I wish that he will be able to find another place soon.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

This made me scratch my head, if the person is overqualified for a job he was working in for the past 2 and a half decades, why fire him? It's like firing a security guard because his employers found out he was a decorated special forces vet. Won't it be better if he was given a raise or promoted instead? Listen, everybody lies in their resumes and job interviews, these things are just for appearances anyway.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

All in all, I wish that he will be able to find another place soon.

Going to be rather hard explaining, without lying again, about why he was fired, from his last job.

He is going to have a hard time finding something decent in the current environment!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

its not just in japan its all over the world,

I spent 21 years in academic and the difference in level, knowledge and aptitude in thinking of someone with a four-year university degree between US/Europe and Japan is staggering.

The rest of your statement is baseless so no need to answer to it.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

He has been working for this company for almost 24 years. He can do the job he was hired to do, shows loyalty to the company, and they fire him. Wouldnt a person with a higher degree be an asset. That to me is insane.

Instead of keeping this asset now they have to spend extra on all costs associated with hiring a new employee who could be way less of an asset to the company and cost them in the long term.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

So, he’s been working in the water management department of the shiakusho for 24 years and they have fired him because he has a degree. I wonder what his major was. Nuclear science? Very few Japanese graduates follow a career path based on their university major. For example, I knew one girl who graduated with a degree in child psychology. She took a job as a secretary in the the sales department of a plastic wrapper factory. I taught in high schools and colleges for many years and 90% of the graduates were only interested in choosing a major that was easy. They had no interest in choosing a major for a career.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"...city officials received an anonymous tip"

BACKSTABBING = Standard Operating Procedure in Japan. Kobe City Shiyakusho Suidouka Human Resources are now congratulating themselves (and simultaneously requesting a raise for themselves) for terminating this 'fully matured' employee before he inevitably became a liability with health-related, or age-related insurance assistance claims. And now of course, a teenaged applicant with no experience, no common sense, no work experience and no life experience has already been hired at minimum legal wage...

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I've never understood the concept of "over qualified". Being under qualified weeds out those who do not have the basic minimum background or knowledge to do a particular job (ideally).

But having too much knowledge or experience is something I don't think is a good reason to weed people out.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Do you want to have someone spread gasoline around the office and set it ablaze? Cuz that's how you get someone to spread gasoline around the office and set it ablaze.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

In March, though, city officials received an anonymous tip regarding the man’s university education

Ah, good old snitching, Japan's national pasttime

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The boss is under treat and thinks he or she will have to pull his or her socks up to survive so gets rid of the competition.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So education is a problem and no education is also a problem. Hope this water company should understand its corona time . he might not get another job soon .

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Ridiculous, bizarre, unbelievable, injustice.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Yes, he was wrong to do that 24 years ago but the person who gave the 'anonymous tip' mustn't have much of a life if that was on his/her to-do list.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I have never heard of a job that listed "maximum education that is allowed for this position." Is this normal in Japan?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It's not rocket science to conclude that the asses who threw him under the bus after 24 years of service have no common sense or decency. Or is there much more to this tale and the old resume brouhaha was the result of a deliberate fishing expedition and seized upon merely as a long sought-after excuse to terminate him? Office politics in Japan can be very nasty behind the prettified screen of politeness.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Nearly lost my job at the abattoir when they found out about my PhD in seventeenth-century French theatre....

10 ( +10 / -0 )

24 years, eh? No statute of limitations on his fraud?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Presumably finding a replacement and training him/her up will cost the Kobe taxpayer more money.

After 24 years of service, you'd think a hansei-bun would have been enough.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Any chance this is simply a means to avoid paying out a pension?

I never could understand the concept of being "over-qualified". Its not as if one's extra knowledge gets in the way of doing a job is it? To me it just sounds like the jerks who rule the world are trying to regulate us like cattle for maximum profit to themselves. To hell with them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So he is truly "too smart for his own good".

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Overqualified means you might question a higher ups decision and your concerns cannot be ignored. If you have just a lower education, they can shout at you and treat you like a lowlife.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

24 years, an entire Human generation, of at least satisfactory performance and fired for being 'over-qualified'? There is clear mental AND systemic cultural illness throughout this sad, but scant, story and little of it comes from the victim. America may be 'over litigious', but this case cries out for a talented tort attorney...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Most People exaggerate (lie) on their resumes!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Amazing Japan surprises again!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I understand that he lied, and maybe a minor punishment should be applied, but to fire him after 24 years of work and loyalty seems a little excesive, taking into count that the company also didn't find out right away, so there were oversights on both ends.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All i can add is that if this happened to this guy and not to pick on the Environmental Minister but he does e have the qualifications / experience for the position, why not be fair about the whole affair. Sorry but just a degree does not mean one is skilled for environmental issues. Just saying. Be fair.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He Was not lying.

What is either overqualified, Or under-qualified.

being overqualified for any given position is an asset To the company or the institution.

it should never be a reason for dismissal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


It's because companies know that if you're over qualified you're likely just using that company as a stepping stone into a better company/position elsewhere and you're likely not going to stay in the company.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

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