TOKYO (Philippines Daily Inquirer / Asia News Network): Japan has prepared for the influx of tourists ahead of the 2020 Olympics.
Preparations include adding English signs to guide foreign visitors and improving the language skills of staff.
However, an employee at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden may have missed the memo.
Instead of learning new language skills to interact with strangers, he just let them pass for free to avoid contact.
Shinjuku Gyoen usually charged 200 yen per adult entry (around 7.46 RM).
Authorities realized in January that a 70-year-old ticket seller, who was afraid of foreigners due to the language barrier, was letting them in for free, as Kyodo reported via SoraNews24.
Auditors did not complete their loss estimate until this week.
The amount totaled over 25 million yen (approx. 932,775 RM) over a period of two and a half years.
This is money that could have gone to the efforts of the Ministry of the Environment to maintain the garden.
The former employee even had a coworker tamper with the sales database to cover up discrepancies between recorded and actual income.
The former ticket seller has since resigned from his post, but the report did not mention action taken regarding the ministry’s financial losses for its inability to do its job.
For future travelers, Shinjuku Gyoen is considered one of the most beautiful places within the city limits, so it may be worth a visit.
Remember to pay the entrance fee, or insist on paying even if a shy employee is reluctant to talk to a stranger. – Philippines Daily Inquirer / Asia News Network