politics

Mayor forced to quit over bringing personal sauna into office

38 Comments

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38 Comments
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There must be more to this story. Gym equipment .... of course it’s for health reasons. Sauna? Weird, but as presented it doesn’t demonstrate either corruption or anything too nefarious. So what’s the deal? Which officials did he mistreat? Did they want to use the sauna?

28 ( +29 / -1 )

I imagine the sauna was big enough for two, if you know what I mean.

30 ( +32 / -2 )

It's just an example of elitests attitude, In a position of responsibility and leadership paid for tax payers, really! having a personal sauna and gym were priorities? His job is not lounging in a sauna it's to improve the lives of those who pay his exhobitant salery.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

There must be more to this story

There is.

It's just an example of elitests attitude

An assumption based on limited info.

The reality was that the guy did have a fairly legit health issue, and he was particularly strict with himself in using the sauna (only at lunch break for 20 or 30 minutes). He even made sure to pay for the electricity used out of his own pocket. He immediately removed it months ago when there was a complaint.

But of course, his opponents wanted a scandalous reason to remove/replace him. Mission accomplished.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

It was a mistake, he apologized, so why resign???

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Much ado about nothing, sad to see nitpicky individuals even in Japan who feel upset and offended over every little thing in life.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

If he spends long hours at the office actually working for his constituents, and he personally paid for it all then I am not going to complain.

However, I am more inclined to believe that he is trying to exploit his position and power. What better way to have affairs with public officials, office workers, and the general public than to have a sauna in your office?

You also reduce the chances of being recorded or filmed while in the sauna.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

If his health isn't so good why is he intent on taking a leadership, management role? Getting better is probably much easier at home than at the office.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Moderator

The following sentence requires the use of "in":

The mayor of a city Osaka Prefecture said ...

The mayor of a city in Osaka prefecture said...

Moderator: Thank you. It has been corrected.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Gees! What a great idea! I could set up a sauna in one end of my spray booth. lol

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I don't think he did anything wrong.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

If you are in position of power in Japan, and someone doesn't like you. They just find some dirt on you, sprinkle it over you, then they add the famous resign resign mantra on it. You are done!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Give him his sauna. Maybe if Japan would pay their civil leaders better than an American Engineer with as many years experience, and treat them more like “Leaders”, they’d attract actual talent.

Who would want to go into civil service when corporate VP Entertainment accounts are often as big as a Mayor’s salary?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

he will resign to "take responsibility" after the city government's COVID-19 vaccination program for elderly people is largely completed, without providing a specific timeline.

I don't understand this. If the program for elderly people is largely completed, how does he need to take responsibility for not providing a timeline? Seems as if that part doesn't need a timeline. Scratching my head.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

On Monday, the 44-year-old said at a press conference he will resign ... after the city government's COVID-19 vaccination program for elderly people is largely completed

Could be a good long while then.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This sounds like nasty political opponents playing the man, not the ball. Let's just lie about him sitting in a sauna all day at taxpayers' expense. The especially regrettable thing about this is that is plays into the same small-minded fears that teleworking is really working, or people who go home before bucho aren't working, or any of the other things that destroy work-life balance in Japan.

Years ago, the major of Nagano installed a clear-walled office (for literal transparency, with the context of Nagano have just incinerated all financial records of the 1998 Olympics) and shifted his address to one of poorest parts of Nagano to pay his taxes there. Both were frequently brought up when people wanted to attack him over completely unrelated issues.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The least we have here as a story, this young mayor did not do anything wrong. Unfortunately, he wasn’t smart enough to analyze the fact that even if there were people who voted for him to become a mayor, there were still people who didn’t like him and wanted to do anything to harm him. I feel sorry for him but he now know that he should not have given those evils any chance to take him out

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I'm just trying to picture in my head how one brings a sauna. I can understand building a sauna. Is it like one of those small portable cubicles where you can go in and play a musical instrument without disturbing anyone outside?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm just trying to picture in my head how one brings a sauna. I can understand building a sauna. Is it like one of those small portable cubicles where you can go in and play a musical instrument without disturbing anyone outside?

It might be; they make ones that are like a tent that you stick your head and hands out of and it steams your body.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Umm... as far as politics are concerned, this doesn’t seem to be the worst thing an elected official has done by far. I’m pretty sure Air Force One has its own gym and Sauna, paid by tax dollars. If this guy paid for all of this out of his own pocket, what’s the problem?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I don't think he did anything wrong.

Yeah..its bought with his own money, it's not like he embezzled money to buy that tub..anyway it's not wrong to wind down and relax abit provide he is not using it during working hours..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"finding himself in the hot seat"

Good one!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably something like this:

https://www.amazon.co.jp/helth-med-室内用-簡易サウナ-ダイエットに-シェイプアップに-持ち運び可!!/dp/B00CKMQLKO

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Huh. Odd. Perhaps the others were just jealous for his sauna.

Where I'm from it would be strange if an office and especially any high-ranking representative of pretty much anything did not have a sauna.

Pukey2

I'm just trying to picture in my head how one brings a sauna. I can understand building a sauna. Is it like one of those small portable cubicles where you can go in and play a musical instrument without disturbing anyone outside?

It could be an infrared sauna. Those are relatively small, and you could have one installed in your living room, if you wanted.

obladi

I imagine the sauna was big enough for two, if you know what I mean.

I know what you mean, but that's not what saunas are for. The in&out-industry, and some particular countries on this globe may try to make you think like that, but it's tarnishing the real thing. Saunas are meant for relaxing, healing, meditating and bathing - so keep your dirty imagination far from it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

so keep your dirty imagination far from it.

@vinke

Good god man, don't be so serious!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thomas Goodtime

Good god man, don't be so serious!

But sauna is serious business. ;)

It would be the same as suggesting dodgy business at a temple or a shrine in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Another wonderful example of how politics work in Japan,honesty and transparency are their motto.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What a loss of an excellent planner.... First the easy to get top position , but not too top, and the according money, then a sauna and gym as equipment, slightly camouflaged as private. I wonder what he would have done next, like ordering invitation cards, taxis, flowers, hotel rooms, restaurants or just directly picking up on the dark streets... Or of course what he said, the improbable, just only for bathing and training....lol We’ll never know now. What a pity.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There's a lot more to this story than meets the eye. Tomita was elected somewhat by surprise a couple of years ago. The previous mayor, Kurata, had been in power for a very long time, and in typical Japanese/LDP style it was assumed his son would take the reins after he retired.

But Tomita got the votes, and ever since there's been a concerted effort by Kurata's camp to get rid of him by means fair or foul. Mostly foul. Tomita paid for the sauna and gym set-up himself, as well as the power supply for it, but "politician has sauna in office" made for a great smear campaign against him. I don't know much about the allegations of mistreatment, but given the situation I doubt they're legit.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@timeon

Saw it on the news. It was a small cubicle - like this ...

https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/Infrared-Relaxation-NATURAL-Natural-Compact/dp/B00ITK2GCS/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=%E5%AE%A4%E5%86%85%E3%82%B5%E3%82%A6%E3%83%8A&qid=1619501499&sr=8-3

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Got to love this wording (out of context, of course!):

"....... hot seat for setting up a home sauna ......"

Maybe he should have "chilled" a little more??

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I’d rather a mayor using a gym than a mayor eating Kobe beef in Ginza.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

OCD springs to mind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

His job is not lounging in a sauna it's to improve the lives of those who pay his exhobitant salery.

I don't know about Osaka but in our little town our city council members have some very long days probably once or twice a week that extend well into the late evening. It is not a 9-5 job, especially when public meetings have to be held in the evening so the public may participate. Add in meetings with the city attorney over pending litigation (every city has pending litigation, lawsuits come with running a city) and a council member can easily spend 14 or 15 hours at work. Then you have ceremonies and public gatherings on weekends and holidays, etc. It's not a job I want.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

if the fellow bought them with his own money what is the problem? He hasn't done anything wrong. A mayor especially is going to have some very long days at work between normal daytime duties and after work public meetings. A little time to lift some weights followed by a sauna is hardly a crime. He could kill the same time sitting around having a big meal and a drink I suppose. Instead the guy invests a little time in taking care of himself and is pilloried for it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sauna? Absolutely. But a crazy decision to install gym equipment - it won't leave enough room for the massage table and hot tub.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Vinke... the 'sauna' was in fact a desktop infrared lamp.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

...trust me. I've been on that desk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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