Daily Archives: May 19, 2004

The Big Earners

All media attention on Tuesday was focused on the tax declarations of the rich and famous. Making the top 10 rankings is a real status symbol and you can usually predict most of the names on the list. The biggest entertainment earners were in music: rock duo B’z dominated, with vocalist Inaba Koshi (39) at No.1 and guitarist Matsumoto Tak in 3rd (photo). Sandwiched between them was last year’s No.1 Hamasaki Ayumi (25). King of the TV mc’s Mino Monta (59) was fourth and the top 5 was rounded out by Utada Hikaru (21). Last year’s No.1, Nakai Masahiro (31) of SMAP didn’t get his declaration in on time and was not included in the rankings. Also highly ranked as usual were the top comedians, Downtown’s Hamada Masatoshi (41) and Matsumoto Hitoshi (41) and the Tunnels duo of Ishibashi Takaaki (42) and Kinashi Noritake (42).

• The other big news story of the moment is politicians who have failed to pay national pension premiums. Meanwhile actress Esumi Makiko (37), a poster girl for the pension scheme who turned out not to have paid premiums herself, made her first public appearance since that scandal broke. She attended a PR event for the upcoming 15th movie in the “Tsuri Baka” (Fishing Fool) movie series, but made no comment on the ongoing scandal.

• Veteran actor of the postwar period Mitsuhashi Tatsuya died on Monday of heart failure in a Tokyo hospital. He was 80. He worked until very recently, appearing in “Casshern”, the currently-showing debut film by Kiriya Kazuaki, husband of Utada Hikaru.