Popular Japanese comedian Yoshimi Tokui (from Japanese comedy duo Tutorial) hasn’t reported past income, and thus owed quite a bit in taxes. He has since paid back the taxes and publicly apologized, only to now confirm he is refraining from performing.
Tokui was charged with not reporting his income from his one-person company, totaling over 100 million yen ($1 million) over a period of three years. He appeared in a press conference and expressed deep regret over what he is firmly referring to as sloppiness or negligence.
The comedian has been rising even moreso in popularity recently thanks to Netflix resurrecting Terrace House, the popular reality show where six strangers try living together and maybe find love.
“I sincerely apologize for not paying the required tax due to my own sloppiness and negligence, causing a great inconvenience to other citizens who are properly paying their taxes. I’m truly sorry,” Tokui said.
Tokui’s employer, Yoshimoto Kogyo, later provided a statement noting that after deep reflection, Tokui has decided to refrain from public appearances and performances, for the time being. However, he previously said that he still wishes to work as an entertainer.
Japan is very strict with entertainers and crime, and as such, Fuji TV (the network that hosts Terrace House in Japan) will be cutting any footage with Tokui on the 28th and 29th broadcasts for the latest episode, after which he will not be appearing. It remains unclear if Netflix will cut him as well.
“This is my only job, so I wish to continue working as a comedian, but I believe it’s up to the public and those who offer me work to decide,” Tokui said. Tokui has already paid back the taxes owed, alongside some 34 million yen that was imposed as a penalty.
Tokui noted that the unreported income was due to his own carelessness, and that he kept putting off filing his taxes, until it was years later and he was simply focusing on his career as an entertainer.