By Barrier Free Japan with extracts from The Kobe Shimbun
August 5 2021
KOBE – An independent committee established with the approval of the city of Kobe recently compiled and released a report on the Rokko Tsurujuen, a social welfare corporation in Nada Ward, Kobe City, which has been found to have provided inappropriate care to the elderly and whose employees complained of power harassment.
The report revealed that the former president and his wife, who stepped down after a series of scandals, were verbally abusive to visually impaired residents and sloppy in their management of expenses.
Since September of last year, a series of incidents involving medical treatment by unqualified personnel and employment problems at the Kishiro-so Nursing Home, a specialist care home for the elderly came to light, and in January, the city of Kobe suspended the Kishiro-so care home’s operations for one year.
In October 2020, The Mainichi Shimbun reported that the staff at the Kishiro-so care home were “reported to have taken and also shared photographs in 2014 of a naked female resident via the free messaging app Line.”
The Mainichi Shimbun also reported that at the time that, “[t]he actions of staff at Kishiro-so, a special nursing home for older people in the city’s Nada Ward, were recognized by the Kobe Municipal Government as sexual abuse.”
The president and her husband, the managing director, resigned immediately after the suspension.
The independent committee, consisting of a lawyer, a certified public accountant, and an academic expert, was established in February. The report was recently published on the corporation’s website.
According to the report, when there was a report of incontinence in diapers by a patient at Senzan-so, a nursing home for the blind operated by the former chairman of the board of directors, the former chairman of the board of directors slipped the pants of a sleeping patient to check the incontinence, and said in front of the patient, “You can’t wipe your butt properly because you are blind. “
There was also a lot of uncertainty in the management of expenses. Purchases were not clearly identified, and expensive equipment was paid for in advance. There was also a case where a decision was made with the authority of the president to purchase several seals that cost around 300,000 yen each. A check of the safes at each facility revealed several items of cash that should have been returned to past users, as well as unaccounted-for cash and rings.
In addition to the 70% of commuting pass money provided to those who commute to work by car, the former president and his wife were provided with 30,000 yen per six months, or about 160,000 yen each. Since the couple commuted to work in a single passenger car, they were also being paid double.
In response to the release of the report, the Kobe City Government said, “We will continue to closely monitor whether the corporation will take the necessary measures based on the contents of the report.
In addition, at a meeting of the board of directors of Rokko Tsurujuen in late June, Masami Takeiri, 84, who had served as president since January, resigned. Katsuyuki Miyata, 67, a former employee of Kobe City, was appointed chairman.