Comedian Junichi Komoto on Friday apologized for not helping to support his mother who was on welfare for the past 15 years.
Komoto, one half of the comedian duo Jicho Kacho, held a news conference at Yoshimoto Kogyo Co's Tokyo office on Friday night after the weekly magazine Josei Seven revealed that a well-known comedian's mother had been on welfare for more than a decade, although it did not name Komoto.
Bowing deeply at the news conference, Komoto, 37, admitted he was the comedian in question and apologized for not taking better care of his mother, TBS reported. He also said he would return some of the welfare money his mother had received.
Komoto said his mother, who lives in Okayama, became ill 15 years ago and had to go on welfare. He said that at the time, he was struggling to find work and was earning less than 1 million yen a year and could not support his mother.
In recent years, Komoto's income is said to be around 50 million yen a year, according to Japanese entertainment magazines. Komoto said he started helping his mother financially five years ago but didn't think he was doing anything wrong by allowing her to continue receiving welfare benefits, TBS reported. His mother went off welfare in April.
The issue was taken up by variety TV programs Saturday morning. Japan's Civil Law states that anyone with relatives on welfare has a duty to support them if they have the financial means to do so, though the law is non-binding.© Japan Today