Composer Masaaki Hirao passed away in 2005, having released many famous songs such as “Seto no Bride” and “Yoko wa Mata Sogare”. The battle over his estate, which is said to be worth approximately 6 billion yen, including royalties to be paid in the future, has entered a new phase.
The year after Mr. Hirao’s death, his third son, singer Yuuki Hirao, held a press conference to claim that his wife M, whom he remarried in 2001, was monopolizing his inheritance. Later, unexplained stock movements and other issues were raised, and a fierce inheritance dispute erupted between Mr. M and his three sons.
In the midst of all this, Mrs. M and her sons will finally face each other in court for the first time at a civil trial to be held at the Tokyo District Court on December 2.
At Yuuki’s press conference in 2006, Mr. S, a certified public accountant who attended the press conference, harshly criticized Mrs. M., saying, “Mrs. M. is a heinous and outrageous version of the back-wife business who has been playing with the professional world. Mr. M filed a suit against Mr. S for damages for defamation of character.
This time, his second son, Akiya Hirao, was to stand in court as a witness for Mr. S’s side, the defendant. Although there had been a trial over the management rights of the firm, Mr. M and his sons had never confronted each other in court. This is the very first direct confrontation, so the media is paying a lot of attention.
Incidentally, Mrs. M has also filed a criminal complaint against Mr. S for defamation. However, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office dropped the charges in October 2009.
When we asked Akiya, who will stand in court as a witness on Mrs. S’s side, about his determination, he replied, “My brother’s courage and Mrs. S’s meeting with me.
When my brother Yuuki and Dr. S held a press conference, my eldest son and I did not want to ruin the image of my father, so we tried to somehow come between Mr. M and him. But during this time, not only was Ms. M trying to monopolize the inheritance, but various facts came out, including DV (allegations of DV) against my father.
I would like to state the facts in court about what terrible things she has done to my father and us.”
Their testimonies will now be revealed in court, and the plaintiff, Mrs. M., will also appear in court as a witness. It will be interesting to see what she, who has never opened her mouth in public, will have to say.
About five years have passed since the death of Masaaki Hirao. A “battle that cannot be lost,” no less than the World Cup soccer tournament, is about to unfold.
Photo： Kyodo News