A Japanese hotel boss has been found dead with a suicide note after he was forced to apologise following news that the hotel’s spa bath water had only been changed twice a year.
Makoto Yamada, 70, was discovered on a mountain pass in the city of Chikushino, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Sunday morning, March 11.
Mr. Yamada was the former president 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.
Back in November, the hotel came under immense scrutiny following an inspection 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.
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 it accused the management of 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 gathering on February 28, admitted: ‘I told my staff it was OK not to change the bath water as fewer people were using it.’