Japanese Civil Servant Punished For Repeatedly Taking His Lunch Breaks 3 Minutes Early

Managers bowed in a televised official apology on behalf of their employee's "regrettable actions".

Cover image via ABC TV

A Japanese water company recently punished one of their employees for taking his lunch break three minutes early

Image via ABC TV

The 64-year-old worker was reprimanded and fined part of his wages for having wasted company time buying his lunch. 

"Lunch break is usually from noon to 1pm," a spokesperson of the company told AFP on Thursday, 21 June. 

Instead of getting his bento lunch at noon, the man left before his break at 11:57am.

According to the company, the whole fiasco began when a fellow employee looked out of his window and noticed the man walking to a bento shop nearby

It was said that the unnamed man committed the "transgression" 26 times over the course of seven months.

As a result, senior management decided to release a televised video issuing an official apology

It captured a row of solemn-looking company officials bowing, with one of them saying: "It is very regrettable that such scandal has happened. I am really sorry."

According to the company, the man had broken a public service law that officials are required to "concentrate on their jobs".

Image via ABC TV

The employee's superior said that the reason the man gave for leaving the office was because he needed a "change of pace"

The news sparked outrage among some netizens, reported The Japan Times.

One Twitter user said: "It's sheer madness. It’s crazy. What about leaving your desk to smoke?"

"Is this a bad joke? Does this mean we cannot even go to the bathroom?" said another.

Some netizens on Japanese news outlet My Game News Flash said that the public apology wasted more time than what bento man spent buying his lunch.

You can watch the televised apology below:

Even Japanese trains arriving earlier than expected required public apologies:

Apart from punctuality, the Japanese recently set a great example during a World Cup match: