entertainment

Comedian apologizes for not helping mother get off welfare

22 Comments

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

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
Login to comment

Everything is ok, no excuses no apology, just he should return whatever welfare his mother has received so far !

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

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.

Weird law. There should be some clearer definitions of "relative" and amounts. It's normal that you are asked to help the sick aging parents that raised you, if your income allows it. But nobody should have to give a yen for the father, brother, cousin, that they saw for the last time when they were 3, because all those years, he's been in Warizistan, then in Guatanamo...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't see what he's apologising for. He did nothing wrong. When he was struggling to find work, he couldn't support his mother. When he started earning he started helping her financially.

Surely whether the mother continued to receive (claim?) welfare benefits was her problem, not his. If anyone should be apologising, it's the mother. Isn't it?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

his income is more than I thought

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe he did nothing illegal but if he is earning 50 million a year ...damn.( that's more than half a million US $ / year ) ..surely he can afford to give enough money to his mum so she doesn't need to claim welfare... He said he started supporting her 5 years ago, but maybe not enough if she still continued to claim benefits? Anyway not enough details in the story but...hey,,morally...he should take better care of his mum if she is doing it tough and he is making big bucks...me thinks.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Welcome to Japan! Guilty? Innocent? Shoganai! Just apologize and get it over with! Its no use fighting to get the truth out!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

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.

This is the problem. What the heck is a "non-binding" law?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Agree with Cleo, if his mother has an income and still claims benefits she's the one who's done wrong. Depends upon her income and the amounts claimed but don't see why Komoto has to make a public act of contrition. His relationship with his mother is their affair.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The civil law defines father, mother, son or daughter the first class relatives; brothers, sisters, grandparents and grandchildren the second class relatives; and father in law or mother in law... the third class relatives. In case of Komoto, there is no room of sympathy for him. Tax money must be used strictly.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Anyways a stupid law, butttttt, that's not the real question here. Why in the hell would he not look after his mother and see to it she was off welfare and financially looked after. Cultural illness here!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

whether the mother continued to receive (claim?) welfare benefits was her problem

why does my tax payment keep sending me signals that this will be a sustained problem/issue here: even family members of a deceased family member -- I believe the bunch (and it's been a bunch) of dead payees discovered so far were well past 100 -- keep socking away govt checks that the deceased could have never spent!! yeah just raise the consumption tax--it's easier than asking govt employees to actually check up on life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Japanese should start to define "laws" and "guidelines". People need to know what they are truly allowed to get away with.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Deep bow, say sorry and everything will be forgotten in a heartbeat. Who invented this pathetic 'drama' system of getting away with almost anything. Also, why do people accept it?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

His mother admitted that she was in the wrong, and that her son shouldn't be blamed for anything. Maybe he should've told her to stop accepting benefits, but it is ultimately up to her. I think a proper penalty for the mother would be to have her pay back the benefits she received after her son started helping her out financially. Her son can help her pay it all back. The sad thing is, he will probably be black listed, and all the shows and commercials he was on will probably get rid of him. I think what they should really be doing is fixing the system. It's too easy to abuse it, and unfortunately in the new Japan, there are too many people who will take advantage. In the old days, people were ashamed of taking a hand out, even if they really needed one. Nowadays, well...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

File this under theatre of the ABSURD!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

though the law is non-binding

Then, it is not really a law, is it?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

CosMay. 26, 2012 - 04:14PM JST

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.

Weird law

Cos, this is an eye opening for me. When you find time, would you please let me know the civil code on this? No wonder many go to bankruptcy as they are forced to co-sign on the medical bills (commercial law).

Thank you, Cos.

showmethemoneyMay. 26, 2012 - 06:09PM JST

Welcome to Japan! Guilty? Innocent? Shoganai! Just apologize and get it over with! Its no use fighting to get the truth out!

.... and bowing, expressing remorse, regret and sorrow. And everything will continue, and nothing will change. This is a typical Japanese culture repeated over centuries..

yokattaMay. 26, 2012 - 07:32PM JST

Anyways a stupid law, butttttt, that's not the real question here. Why in the hell would he not look after his mother and see to it she was off welfare and financially looked after. Cultural illness here!

He is not responsible what his mother wants to do while he and his mother were missing a morale and a social obligation to society. .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If his mother had low income and was unable to work, then she should qualify. He may or may not have a moral obligation to get her off public assistance, but he has no legal one. Nonbinding laws are laws that have no enforcement provisions or laws the government chooses to ignore. One example is the law that says Japanese citizens shall not be exposed to more than 1 mSv/year of radiation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

aarnerbro, thanks. I think you have just given me a good explanation here. I was in confusion as I do not live there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@tokyokawasaki

"Deep bow, say sorry and everything will be forgotten in a heartbeat."

Of course, this is a moral issue, not legal, that's why he got criticized, not arrested. It's totally legal, but a morally wrong to receive welfare when she got enough money from his son.

So you want people to keep bringing this up for another couple years instead of forgot about it after he apologized ?

-2 ( +1 / -2 )

@hide.

No that is not what I or others want at all.

How about behaving civilized (a.k.a. the Golden Rule) in the first place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

we cant blame them....the benefits ....what are these? how much? I think its not enough specially for the elders. For the healthy elders it may be just enough to afford an airconditioner?..not enough...!!! DOES anyone wonder? ITS A SOCIAL PROBLEM,!!! Government is using more money on institutions and hi tech machines....hire someone who is not a BOCHAN..!!!Hate seeing the BOCHANGS on tv playing politics!!!!! so are the advisers!!! So Domoto san you dont have to say your sorry coz the government staff in okayama are the one to blame for not reviewing the case......return the money..if the shiyakuso say it so...its your mothers right! right ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites