An elderly employee at Shinjuku Gyoen national garden has cost the facility millions of yen because he was "too frightened" to charge foreign visitors the admission fee for two and a half years
After an investigation was launched following a tip-off by another employee, the garden's gate attendant admitted to failing to collect admission fees for the popular garden.
According to SoraNews24, the man, who is in his early 70s, told ministry investigators that an incident with a tourist had scarred him from interacting with English speaking visitors.
"I don't speak any other languages and I got scared when a foreigner began yelling at me a long time ago," he explained.
Japan's Ministry of the Environment revealed that the garden had lost at least JPY25 million (RM920,771) as a result of the employee allowing an estimated 160,000 people to enter the garden for free
The man admitted that he had stopped collecting the admission fees of JPY200 (RM7.35) for adults and JPY50 (RM1.84) for children since April 2014.
To cover up for not charging foreigners, the employee had asked a colleague with access to the garden's database to cancel the sales so there would be no discrepancy between recorded and actual revenue
This tactic worked until late December 2016, when another member of staff alerted management after witnessing the man behaving strangely when issuing a ticket to a foreign visitor.
He was then docked 10% of his salary and asked to enter retirement. The man also offered to return half of his retirement bonus of about JPY300,000 (RM11,029.50), The Guardian reported.