Japan mayor to resign over backlash for setting up personal sauna next to office

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The mayor of Ikeda in Osaka, Japan, has offered to resign from his post after receiving backlash for setting up a personal sauna next to his office.

Mayor Hikori Tomita brought his home sauna, as well as gym equipment, to the city’s government building last year, as per Kyodo News yesterday, April 26.


Tomita had previously claimed that he had the sauna installed for “health reasons.” In a press conference yesterday, he stated that he would be stepping down to “take responsibility,” but only after the city’s COVID-19 vaccination program for elderly people is largely completed.

The mayor, who has been in the position since April 2019, was criticized for apparently misusing the city office and for having allegedly mistreated several government officials.

The investigation team on Tomita’s case earlier this month made a request for his resignation. The city assembly was set to adopt a no-confidence motion against the mayor today if he did not comply with the said request, the report said.

“If (the motion is) passed, it will lead to an election, putting citizens and the elderly at risk,” Tomita was quoted as saying. Ian Biong /ra


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