Japanese hotel boss found dead after apologising for spa water fiasco
Japanese hotel boss forced to apologise after it emerged their spa bath water was only changed twice a year is found dead on a mountain pass with a suicide note
- Makoto Yamada found on a mountain pass in Chikushino, Fukuoka Prefecture
- Mr Yamada said he felt ‘morally responsible for everything’ in a suicide note
- He was the former president of the 158-year-old Japanese inn Daimaru Besso
A Japanese hotel boss who was forced to apologise after it emerged their spa bath water had only been changed twice a year has been found dead with a suicide note.
Makoto Yamada, 70, was discovered on a mountain pass in the city of Chikushino, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Sunday morning.
Mr Yamada was the former president of of the 158-year-old traditional inn Daimaru Besso in Chikushino, once visited by Emperor Hirohito. He had only quit his role at the hotel 10 days prior to his death on March 2.
The hotel came under immense scrutiny following an inspection in November when it emerged that legionella bacteria was found at 3,700 times the permitted limit in the bath water. Legionella can cause a severe form of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease.
Police believe they found a suicide note in a car nearby to where Mr Yamada was found dead.
Makoto Yamada (pictured during apology) was discovered on a mountain pass in the city of Chikushino, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Sunday morning
Mr Yamada was the former president of of the 158-year-old traditional inn Daimaru Besso (pictured) in Chikushino, once visited by Emperor Hirohito.
The note reportedly read: ‘I am very sorry. I feel morally responsible for everything. Please take care of the rest.’
Mr Yamada had been questioned by officers for about six hours on March 10 and he was summoned in again the next day but failed to show up at the police station.
After the inspection of the inn’s hot springs, it emerged that the bath water was only changed twice a year instead of weekly.
The government of Fukuoka Prefecture filed a complaint against the inn with the police on March 8 in which t accused them violating the Public Bath Houses Act by lying that it changed the bath water much more frequently than it really did.
Mr Yamada, in a news conference on February 28, admitted: ‘I told my staff it was OK not to change the bath water as fewer people were using it.’
The hotel (pictured) came under immense scrutiny following an inspection in November when it emerged that legionella bacteria was found at 3,700 times the permitted limit in the bath water
Mr Yamada admitted in a news conference on February 28 (pictured during apology) that he told staff to change the bath water less because fewer people were using it
He admitted to instructing staff to illegally give public health officials fraudulent chlorination records.
Mr Yamada also confessed to failing to chlorinate the bath water due to the fact that he and workers ‘selfishly disliked the smell of chlorine’.
Fukuoka Prefectural Police official Eiji Kodama said in a statement: ‘We would like to express our sincere condolences to the man who passed away.
‘We believe there were no problems in how the police dealt with the case.’
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