Yokohama gov’t employee used work computer to play games for 275 hrs

By | November 10, 2023

This screenshot shows the Solitaire game app. (Mainichi)

YOKOHAMA — An employee at the municipal government here has been disciplined for using a work computer to play games for a total of 275 hours, the city announced on Dec. 26.

The Yokohama Municipal Government handed a 10% pay cut for five months, dated Dec. 26, to a 50-year-old section chief at the cadastral survey division. The employee was quoted as explaining, “I started playing games to freshen up as I thought it would be OK to do so for a little bit as long as it didn’t affect my work.”

According to the city government, the man played games such as Solitaire, Sudoku and crosswords and browsed websites unrelated to his job on his work laptop in the government building for 150 days between December 2021 and August 2022. He used the computer from between 30 minutes to three hours per day for such purposes before and during work for a total of 275 hours.

The matter came to light after another employee blew the whistle in late April, saying, “I heard the clicking sound too many times, which I thought was unnatural, and when I observed him, he was playing games.”

Meanwhile, the city government disciplined a 25-year-old employee at the life support division of Midori Ward’s welfare health center the same day for allegedly making inappropriate remarks, including sexual ones, to a woman on welfare. The city consequently suspended him from work for five months.

The employee apparently made remarks that could be perceived as seeing the woman as a sex object during five interviews at her home between December 2020 and March 2022. The man voluntarily resigned on Dec. 26.

(Japanese original by Nao Ikeda, Yokohama Bureau)