The Japanese Foreign Ministry revealed on Tuesday that diplomat Yoshiaki Nagaya would be suspended from his position as the San Francisco Japanese Consulate for six months after being convicted of beating his wife in a U.S. court. 33 year old Nagaya was sentenced last month to one year of jail time, and the Japanese government decided, rightfully, that his acts undermined the credibility of national civil servants.
Nagaya began working as a vice consul in San Francisco in June of 2010, on loan from Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry. After he shoved his wife, Yuka Nagaya, out of a moving car during an argument in a parking garage, she went to the police, providing evidence of abuse that began in January 2011, including shoving her to the ground and stomping on her, and stabbing her hand with a screw driver. Nagaya did not have diplomatic immunity in the case, and up until this recent decision from the Tokyo government, he remained employed at the Japanese Consulate.
With the diplomat’s suspension only being for six months, whereas he will be serving one year in jail, along with three years of supervised probation and 104 hours of domestic violence counseling, it seems the Japanese government will either be letting him continue his duties while behind bars, or they are betting on him not serving the full sentence. Unfortunately, if Tokyo really wanted to send a message about “undermined credibility,” not to mention condemn domestic violence, Nagaya would have been terminated as soon as he was found guilty.