A Japanese city official has been docked half a day's pay for repeatedly leaving his desk for a few minutes, sparking a heated debate on social media over the severity of the punishment.
The 64-year-old man, who has not been identified, is employed by the waterworks bureau in Kobe, according to bureau officials who gave a televised press conference last week to apologize for the employee's actions.
The man had left his desk for three minutes to buy a takeaway bento lunch box before his lunch time started. He did this 26 times over a seven-month period.
As a punishment, he was reprimanded and docked half a day's pay.
"It is very regrettable that such misconduct took place," a bureau official said. "We deeply apologize for it."
All four officials at the press conference then stood and bowed deeply.
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