TOKYO, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- An attendant at a popular garden in Tokyo has cost the facility over 25 million yen (roughly 222,000 U.S. dollars) because he was too frightened to ask foreign visitors to pay the admission fee.
The 73-year-old man, who has not been named, admitted letting some 160,000 visitors into the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden for free between 2014 and 2016, local media reported.
"I don't speak any other languages and I got scared when a foreigner began yelling at me a long time ago," he said, according to SoraNews24.
The man handed out tickets to the garden without charging the admission price of 200 yen (1.8 dollars) for adults or 50 yen (40 cents) for children, then asked a colleague with access to the database to cancel the transactions so there was no discrepancy between income and sales.
The ruse worked until late December 2016 when another colleague noticed his "strange ways" and alerted the management.
The lost revenue amounted to more than 25 million yen, Japan's environment ministry said this week.
As a result, 10 percent of his salary was docked and he has requested early retirement. He has reportedly offered to return half of his retirement bonus.
Shinjuku Gyoen is a popular tourist attraction famous for its cherry blossoms in the heart of Tokyo.