Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force colonel suspended for power harassment

A senior officer of Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force has been suspended for repeatedly harassing his subordinates.

The 48-year-old colonel, who works at the Ground Staff Office in Tokyo, was suspended for four days from Tuesday.

The GSDF says the colonel was overbearing and verbally abusive toward his subordinates from around March 2021 to November last year. He is said to have repeatedly told them to quit the SDF.

The colonel reportedly said he used such methods in an effort to improve his subordinates' work. But officials say his actions constitute power harassment, as he inflicted mental anguish and aggravated the work environment.

The Ground Staff Office is a key body of the GSDF that draws up plans for defense, education and training of units across the country. The colonel is said to be involved in general affairs.

Chief of Staff Yoshida Yoshihide, the top official at the GSDF, said he takes very seriously the incidents that happened at the SDF, which is supposed to protect the public. He said the acts are a disgrace and he will once again thoroughly instruct the personnel so as to prevent recurrences.