Here's an update on the tattoo situation in Hashimoto's Osaka. Story from The Daily Yomiuri Online, 5/14/12:
50 Osaka City Bureau Officials Sport Tattoos Despite Ethics Code
About 50 employees in the Osaka city government's Environment Bureau
said in a survey they have tattoos, despite an ethics code that frowns
on such body decorations, according to sources.
The city bureau enacted an internal ethics code in May 2010
stipulating its officials should not have tattoos or similar body
Last year, however, some Osaka residents reported to the city government that they had seen garbage collectors with tattoos.
In March, the city government conducted the survey on all of about 3,200 officials in the Environment Bureau.
In the survey, the employees were asked if they had tattoos, and, if so, which part of their body was tattooed.
The city bureau said it had instructed all tattooed officials to remove their tattoos if possible.
Separately, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto has instructed that a survey
be carried out on all 30,000 city government officials, including the
Environment Bureau's employees but excluding about 800 city-run schools'
teachers and workers, to check which officials have tattoos.
It is expected the number of city government officials sporting tattoos may increase further.