• Kyodo

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The Kobe District Court on Wednesday ordered professional baseball’s Hanshin Tigers to pay 12.2 million yen to Kenny Nomura, son of former Hanshin manager Katsuya Nomura, for failing to fulfill a contract related to an American player.

In May, Kenny Nomura, 43, filed the suit with the court’s Amagasaki branch and demanded the team pay him 12.2 million yen in compensation for failing to pay him a renewal commission for pitcher Gregory Hansell.

According to the ruling, Nomura, who was working in the United States as an agent between foreign players and the Hanshin Tigers, signed a contract with the team in 1999 under which he is to receive a commission based on players’ annual salaries if they are signed or renew their contracts.

Nomura introduced the team to four U.S. ball players between 1999 and 2000, the ruling said.

The Tigers organization, however, refused this year to pay Nomura a renewal commission for the pitcher until he submits papers to the team to prove he properly paid taxes on his income over the past years, the ruling said.

The court concluded that Nomura has no obligation to submit such papers to the team.

Following the ruling, the Tigers said they will accept the court’s decision and pay Nomura the money.

“We were ready to pay from the beginning. We only wanted him to make sure that his tax-related payments are properly settled,” said Hanshin Tigers President Katsuyoshi Nozaki, citing concern about comments Nomura had made about the tax-evasion charges against his mother, Sachiyo Nomura.

In May, Sachiyo Nomura was given a suspended prison term and fined 21 million yen for evading 213 million yen from 1997 to 2000. Before her arrest, Kenny Nomura told a Japanese news magazine that his mother had asked him to cooperate in covering up the tax evasion.

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