According to a report by Toyo Keizai Online on April 17th, a female police officer in her 20s stationed at the San'yō-Onoda police station in Yamaguchi Prefecture was subject to the disciplinary action of a 10% pay cut equivalent to one month's salary, effective April 1st for meeting several men through a smartphone dating app.

The Office of the Inspector of the Yamaguchi Prefectural Police explained that in February, the officer confided in a supervisor that she had met several men through the app and dated them from May to August of last year, and that disciplinary action was warranted because such behavior was "ethically problematic as a police officer."

After being notified of her pay cut, the officer voluntarily resigned on the same day. According to the news report, she expressed contrition for her actions, saying: "I am sorry [for what I did]."

The Office of the Inspector further commented: "We will continue to conduct training in professional ethics to all our staff in an effort to prevent this from happening again."

The stigma of Deai-kei apps

The number of crimes associated with dating apps (出会い系アプリ deai-kei apps in Japanese), has steadily decreased in the last decade. A 2016 report by the National Police Agency indicated that there were only 93 incidents in 2015, compared to 1,100 in 2007 when statistics were first taken. Nevertheless, the apps continue to have a bad reputation in Japanese society due to their association with crimes (mostly involving minors) such as prostitution, assault, kidnapping and rape.

Due to a lack of information on the circumstances under which she used the app or interacted with the men, it is impossible to know if there is more going on that can be gleaned from the news report. However, if we are to take the report at face value, the officer was only exercising her personal freedom to do as she pleases in her private life off duty.

By - Ben K.