The head of an Air Self-Defense Force academy of Japan was sacked in September over allegations of sexual harassment against one of his female deputies, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said Friday.
The scandal involving ASDF Maj. Gen. Kesayoshi Miyashita, 55, surfaced at a time when the Defense Ministry has recently come under fire over the release of a controversial essay on Japan's role in World War II by dismissed ASDF Chief of Staff Gen. Toshio Tamogami.
ASDF Chief of Staff Gen. Kenichiro Hokazono told a press conference that Miyashita was removed from the post of principal of the ASDF's 1st Technical School on Sept. 18 over suspicions that he sexually harassed the woman in late August, the Kyodo News Agency reported.
Miyashita, now in the ministry's Air Staff Office, admitted to the allegations, ministry officials said.
The ministry started the procedure to reprimand the major general immediately after it received a report on the allegations Sept. 17 but has yet to decide on the punishment.
Miyashita became the head of the school in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, in September last year, they said.
Hamada declined to go into details, telling a press conference, "We need to consider the privacy of the harassed woman," adding that "fact-finding is still underway."
The ministry failed to make the dismissal public even though it usually announces changes in personnel involving senior ranking officers.
Hamada, who became defense minister six days after Miyashita's dismissal, admitted that he was unaware of the scandal until Thursday evening, Kyodo said.