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City workers in Japan to be fired for having tattoos?

Some 126 workers for a city in Japan could reportedly lose their jobs because they have tattoos.

Authorities in Osaka are considering asking employees who have tattoos to have them removed or look for another job, The Guardian newspaper reported.

"Some workplaces may tolerate tattoos, but that shouldn't be the case for public servants," the city’s mayor Toru Hashimoto reportedly said. "If they insist on having tattoos, they had better leave the city office and go and work in the private sector."

Tattoos in Japan are sometimes associated with membership of Mafia-style criminal gangs called yakuza.

The Guardian said some large companies in Japan have already banned workers from having tattoos.

Authorities in Osaka are considering what to do after carrying out a survey of the city’s 30,000 employees, the paper reported. Staff were asked whether they had tattoos – either visible or normally concealed by clothing – and how long they had had them for. About 800 people refused to respond to the survey.

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