translated by Brett Larner
In an interview with the Aichi Prefecture Board of Education on April 26 it was discovered that the 50-year-old male head coach of the national-class Toyokawa Kogyo High School ekiden teams disciplined earlier this year for the use of corporal punishment against male and female team members retired at the beginning of the month. According to the Board, the coach retired, "for personal reasons." Board officials said that at the beginning of the school year in April the coach, also a teacher at the school, informed Toyokawa Kogyo's principal of his intent to retire. Because he was under suspension he had not been assigned any classes to teach for the new school year.
The coach took his position at Toyokawa Kogyo in 1993, and over the course of his 20-year leadership he developed the school's boys' and girls' ekiden teams into two of the best in the nation. In January this year news broke of his use of corporal punishment against team members. An investigation by the Prefectural Board of Education discovered that over the last five year the coach had beaten at least thirty students, five of them sustaining injuries. In March the Board handed down a four-month suspension with a subsequent one-year probationary period. Prior to the coach's retirement Toyokawa Kogyo had planned to ask him to return to leading the team following his suspension.
Translator's note: Toyokawa Kogyo's former head coach was Masaaki Watanabe. Click here for more background on this story.