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Aska arrest to rattle Pasona as shareholders meeting looms

Kasumi Tochinai
Kasumi Tochinai

Since the middle of May, Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested popular singer-songwriter Aska three times on drug-related charges.

Over the weekend, law enforcement officials completed their investigation into the 56-year-old musician, one half of the duo Chage and Aska, who is expected to be released on bail in a matter of days.

When Aska, whose real name is Shigeaki Miyazaki, was taken into custody for the first time, on May 17, a female acquaintance, 37-year-old Kasumi Tochinai, a former employee at a company affiliated with staffing agency Pasona, was also arrested on drug-related charges.

For Pasona, the repercussions of the matter are likely just beginning, reports Nikkan Gendai (July 1).

The problem centers on the founder of Pasona, Yasuyuki Nambu, who is a friend of Aska. The musician met Tochinai at one of Nambu’s lavish banquets, held inside a secretive reception hall in Tokyo. Attendees also included executives and consultants at Pasona, a number of politicians and hostesses.

“This was a real body blow to the company,” says a person affiliated with Pasona. “A small number of directors at the company attended. The whole thing was top secret. The employees didn’t know. So once the media began reporting (on the parties), people within the company began raising suspicions (about just who went).”

The trial for Tochinai is scheduled to begin at the Tokyo District Court on July 22, prior to when Pasona is scheduled to hold its annual shareholders meeting. Until then, whispers about the Aska case will likely continue unabated.

“We are going to be in trouble if the likes of Nikkan Gendai and the weekly tabloids continue pursuing the matter,” says the aforementioned insider.

Employees have been left wondering who funded the events.

“Everyone wonders what the company has been doing with the money earned with their sweat,” says the source. “Executives are questioning one another about whether they ever attended. Of course morale is way down.”

Nambu currently owns 35.4 percent of the company’s shares, but foreign investors own a total of 15 percent.

“That shareholders meeting is certain to be a stormy affair,” says the insider.

Source: “Aska jiken nagori Pasona ni kigu saseru kabunushisokai no tsukiageru,” Nikkan Gendai (July 1, page 5)