A merchant group in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward may have to pay some ¥9.8 million in taxes over the next 45 years for bronze statues of characters from the beloved comic strip “Sazae-san” that they installed to promote their district.

The Sakurashinmachi Shotengai Shinko Kumiai shop owners’ association received notification from tax authorities last week asking it to pay a roughly ¥580,000 fixed property tax for the current fiscal year for the 12 bronze statues of the characters the group erected in March 2012 in front of Sakurashinmachi Station on the Tokyu Denentoshi Line.

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