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Hyogo Governor Refuses to Resign After Union Complaint

Hyogo Governor Motohiko Saito refused to resign on Wednesday over the sudden death of a prefectural official who had drafted and distributed a document accusing him of misconduct.

Saito’s refusal came after the prefectural employees’ union filed a complaint with the prefectural government earlier on Wednesday, effectively demanding his resignation over the official’s death.

At a press conference in Kobe, Saito said he takes the death seriously. But he said: “It is my responsibility to rebuild the prefectural government. I will take thorough action to fulfill my responsibilities.”


The union complained that it was “extremely regrettable that the official who spoke out could not be protected” and that “the prefectural government is stagnating and there is no hope of regaining the public’s trust”.

The deceased official, a former head of a regional office of the prefectural government, produced a document claiming that a pile of gifts from Hyogo Prefecture companies was stored at the governor’s residence and that his intimidation with power was beyond the officials’ capabilities.

An internal investigation by the prefecture found that the official’s claims amounted to defamation. In May, the official was therefore punished with a three-month suspension.

The prefectural assembly set up an investigation committee to look into the matter. The official was scheduled to appear before the committee on July 19.



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