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A Japanese government official has been branded as the “shame of Japan” in local social media after asking for a piggyback ride before walking through a shallow puddle during an official visit to a town devastated by a storm that took 21 lives.
The politician named Shunsuke Mutai, who was visiting the ravaged Iwaizumi town, was photographed in a happy mood while being carried by his subordinate over some puddle, reports BBC.
— Maji Kana (@anakaj) September 13, 2016
As the country’s vice minister of reconstruction, Mutai was tasked to conduct an ocular inspection of the damage caused by the typhoon Lionrock. A total of nine people were reportedly drowned in a nursing home in the town where Mutai went.
— Glico (@Glico_Power) September 13, 2016
Mutai was widely criticized online after his piggyback ride photo went viral on social media. The enormous backlash prompted him to publicly apologize for the piggyback ride, admitting that his behavior was “inappropriate” and that he “deeply regretted” his actions.
Japanese netizens have labeled the senior official as the “shame of Japan” with many social media users accusing him of not taking his job seriously.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Mutai’s piggyback ride was bereft of “sensitivity.”
“He went there as head of the government investigation team, so naturally he should have brought his rubber boots to begin with,” he was quoted as saying. “I must say he lacked sensitivity to the residents and the region.”
Mutai’s colleague and senior official, Reconstruction Minister Masahiro Imamura expressed his apologies to the public for Mutai’s actions, saying that the beleaguered politician “had forgotten to bring rubber boots”.