Councilor’s Fees Seized, about 5 Million in Tax Delinquency | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Councilor’s Fees Seized, about 5 Million in Tax Delinquency

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Koga was the baseball coach at Kyushu Bunka Gakuen High School. He was highly regarded as a leader (PHOTO: Jiji Press)

His remuneration of about 560,000 yen per month as a councilor was seized in full, and about 5 million yen in corporate tax and other taxes are in arrears.

One after another, the troubles are uncovered and there are lawmakers in tatters. He is Goki Koga, 56, a city councilor in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. Koga just became a city council member in April of this year, coming in 33rd place out of 33 elected officials, just barely. What on earth is going on?

Before going into the details of his troubles, let us look back at Koga’s profile, which is unusual for a city councilor.

He was born and raised in Sasebo and had a reputation in his hometown for his athletic prowess from an early age. He played volleyball until junior high school, and then joined the baseball team at Saikai Gakuen High School (Sasebo City). As a strong-shouldered outfielder, he went on to play baseball for Kyushu Mitsubishi Motors, a baseball team for working people.

In 1989, he was drafted by Orix. In the pros, he had a trial-and-error period as he switched to infielder, and left the team in 1993 without playing a game for the first team. After retiring, he ran an izakaya (Japanese-style pub) in Sasebo.

Members to be chosen by election

It was in 2007 that Mr. Koga took a leap of faith. He graduated from Nagasaki International University in Sasebo and obtained a teaching license to become a student baseball coach. He became the baseball coach at Kyushu Bunka Gakuen High School, also in Sasebo.

Koga was a very reputable coach. He let the players elect the members of the team to participate in tournaments, leaving it up to the students to decide on their own. He let the students come up with most of the strategy. It was often reported in the media as a unique coaching method.

In Sasebo, there are few opportunities for professional baseball games to be held, and there are few chances to come face to face with the players of one’s dreams. Mr. Koga, who has a strong love for his hometown, decided that politics was necessary to make professional baseball more accessible to children, so he ran for city council. As mentioned above, he was elected in April of this year with the catchphrase, “Full swing for the dream.

But …

‘He seems to have had troubles at home. He and a divorced woman have not paid approximately 2.25 million yen in child support. Upon the woman’s petition, the Nagasaki District Court Sasebo Branch sends a notice to the city ordering the garnishment. Koga’s monthly councilor’s remuneration of approximately 560,000 yen will be seized in full starting in June.

It was also discovered that as of April, when he was elected to the city council, he was in arrears of about 5 million yen in corporate taxes for a restaurant he had invested in and social insurance premiums for his employees. Koga explained to Nagasaki International Television and the Nagasaki Shimbun that he had fallen into arrears because of a significant drop in sales due to the new coronavirus.

Mr. Koga has paid the overdue amount in full. He intends to pull himself together and continue his activities as a member of the Diet. It will be some time before he can earn the high reputation as a politician that he had when he was a student supervisor.

  • PHOTO Jiji Press, Inc.

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