A Kobe city official has been reprimanded and fined for leaving his desk to go to the toilet during work hours.

The official, who works at the waterworks bureau in Kobe, “should have emptied his bladder before arriving at the office or during the designated lunch break”, according to a city spokesman.

“Lunch time is from noon to 1 p.m. He left his desk at 11:57 a.m. to go take a slash,” the spokesman said.

Gaman Dekizu, 64, had half a day’s pay docked as punishment and managers called a news conference to apologize.

“It’s deeply regrettable that this misconduct took place. We’re sorry,” a bureau official told reporters, bowing deeply.

Dekizu was “in violation of a public service law stating officials have to concentrate on their jobs during working hours”, according to the bureau.