Japan Times chairman paid hefty back taxes

by Reiji Yoshida

Staff Writer

Nifco Inc. Chairman Toshiaki Ogasawara was ordered to pay more than ¥100 million in back taxes in December 2012 after failing to declare about ¥1 billion in income over a three-year period through 2011, it was learned Saturday.

Ogasawara is also chairman of The Japan Times Ltd., a publishing unit of the major auto parts maker.

Kagetoshi Uchida, a tax accountant for Ogasawara, told The Japan Times that the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau found Ogasawara’s earnings taxable because it determined that his main residential base during the three years through 2011 was Japan.

Ogasawara, 83, had moved to Hong Kong in 2008 and had not spent more than half a year in Japan during each of the years from 2009 to 2011, according to Uchida.

Ogasawara believed this exempted him from reporting the income in question, Uchida said.

During that period, Ogasawara repeatedly visited Japan, and his accumulated time in the nation was the longest when compared to the several other countries he visited.

The tax bureau thus determined that his main residential base was in Japan, Uchida said.

Ogasawara paid the back taxes as demanded in December 2012. The story was first reported by Kyodo News.

Under the income tax law, all of the earnings of a resident of Japan can be taxed, whether they are generated at home or abroad. A Japan-based resident is required to pay taxes after deducting certain amounts of levies paid to overseas tax authorities.

Nifco, listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, is the parent company of The Japan Times Ltd., which publishes The Japan Times, the largest English-language newspaper in Japan. Ogasawara is also chairman of Nifco subsidiary Simmons Co., a maker of luxury bedding.

  • Steve Jackman

    Ogasawara-san, I salute you for maintaining the high levels of journalism which The Japan Times has become so well known for. It is very refreshing to see your newspaper uphold the journalistic principles of independence, objectivity and integrity in your news reporting, editorials and opinion pieces.

    I hope you continue with the independent coverage and to not shy away from reporting the news which other media outlets in Japan may consider taboo or too controversial to write about. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.