Tokyo Ward Mayor Apologizes to Manga Creator After Incident at Children's Event

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

Manga creator Saho Yamamoto (Okazaki ni Sasagu, Mujihi na 8bit) visited the ward office of Tokyo's Setagaya ward on Monday to participate in an international manga workshop related to a sister-city program with Australia. When Yamamoto arrived for the event, however, it did not go as well as she had anticipated. She tweeted later that day, "I had a job with the Setagaya ward office, but it was so terrible, all I could do was laugh...."

Yamamoto posted a four-page manga about the event on Twitter on Tuesday. In the manga, Yamamoto explained that after she arrived the person in charge at the ward office told her they had lost the data she needed that she had sent. The official then told Yamamoto that the event had been double-booked, placed the blame on Yamamoto, and said they would deduct a cancellation fee from her payment. Children were waiting, so Yamamoto conducted the event and went back to talk to the official more after it ended. The official then told Yamamoto there was no problem after all and offered an excuse before Yamamoto left.

Yamamoto added in a separate tweet that she had also paid for materials for the event. She then clarified that, including all the related planning and preparation, the job actually amounted to four days of work.

Twitter users responded to the incident with sympathy for Yamamoto and criticism toward ward officials. The manga tweet has received nearly 100,000 retweets as of Wednesday. In light of the public outcry, ward officials contacted Yamamoto on Wednesday.

Setagaya ward mayor Nobuto Hosaka tweeted an apology on Wednesday. He said officials had confirmed the circumstances of the incident and apologized to Yamamoto and other affected people. Hosaka said that a meeting with Yamamoto was to be held that same day to apologize directly, discuss what caused the problems, and help prevent a similar incident from happening again.

Sources: Saho Yamamoto's Twitter account, Nobuto Hosaka's Twitter account (link 2), Nikkan Sports via Yaraon! (link 2)

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