Yoshimoto Kogyo suspends 11 comedians over 'anti-social' party
tokyoreporter.com -- Jun 26
Talent agency Yoshimoto Kogyo Co. on Monday announced the suspension of 11 comedians for participating in a party held by so-called “anti-social forces” group without prior clearance from the agency, reports TV Asahi (June 24).

According to the agency, the suspended comedians include Hiroyuki Miyasako (49), Ryo Tamura (47), Razor Ramon Hard Gay (43), Yoshinari Fukushima (41), Masashi Kumada (46), Punch Hamasaki (38), Takuhiro Kimura (43), Moody Katsuyama (39), Hiroyuki Yasoshima (35), Hiroshi Tsunemichi (36) and Diego (41).

The gathering, held five years ago, was organized by an anti-social forces group — a euphemism for a criminal syndicate — that carries out fraud. The 11 comedians accepted money to attend, the agency said.

“Even though [the comedians] did not know that the event was hosted by an anti-social group, it is still a very serious matter that they received money,” Yoshimoto Kogyo said.

On June 4, the agency terminated the contract with comedian Shinya Irie, 42, who was found to have organized the payments for the comedians.

Many of the comedians issued public apologies, including Tamura, who is half of the duo London Boots. In the apology to staff members, Yoshimoto Kogyo and other relevant parties, he said that appeared at the event as a member of London Boots. However, he said he did not know the group was participating in fraud.

“During the suspension, I will look inwardly and strive to be a person who will never do this again,” Tamura said.

Weekly tabloid Friday in an issue that went on sale on June 7 broke the story. Since then, public broadcaster NHK has halted programs featuring the comedians.

吉本興業のお笑い芸人が会社を通さない「闇営業」で反社会勢力のパーティーに参加した問題で、吉本興業は「雨上がり決死隊」の宮迫博之さん(49)ら参加した芸人11人を謹慎処分としました。 吉本興業によりますと、5年ほど前にお笑いコンビ「雨上がり決死隊」の宮迫さん、「ロンドンブーツ1号2号」の田村亮さん(47)ら芸人11人が特殊詐欺グループとされる反社会勢力主催のパーティーに参加していました。事実関係を確認するために吉本興業が複数回ヒアリングを行ったところ、反社会勢力主催であるとの認識はなく、金銭を受け取っていたことが明らかになったということです。11人については当面の間、活動を停止して謹慎処分としました。 吉本興業が謹慎を発表した11名は24日から当面の間、活動を停止するということでそれぞれがコメントを発表しています。その一部をご紹介します。
News sources: tokyoreporter.com, ANNnewsCH
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