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Osaka Tattoo Ban Prohibits Visible Ink For City Employees

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Tattoo bans are most often found in schools, summer camps, the military and corporate offices. But one city in Japan has taken it a step further, cracking down on tattoos found on any city employees.

Last month Toru Hashimoto, the recently elected mayor of Osaka, waged a tattoo crackdown on city employees, reports ABC News, surveying over 32,000 individuals on whether or not they have tattoos. 113 admitted to having tattoos, including ten schoolteachers.

The investigation was prompted, the Guardian writes, after a welfare worker "intimidated" children and co-workers with his own large tattoo. But the increasing strictness regarding visible ink has become a trend throughout Japan, where tattoos have been banned for both guests at certain gyms and water parks as well as for flight attendants on the country's two major airlines, JAL and ANA.

Although the results of Osaka's survey are in (that is, for those who chose to respond -- according to the Guardian, about 800 people abstained), the city has not yet decided on one comprehensive policy. According to ABC, the teachers are being asked to have any visible ink removed (no small task) and that employees who deal with the public on a regular basis might be moved to less visible positions.

"If they insist on having tattoos, they had better leave the city office and go to the private sector," Mayor Toru Hashimoto said after the survey results were released.

Read more at ABCNews.com.

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