A major Japanese talent agency has suspended 11 of its comedians for attending a party hosted by a crime group and accepting payments.
Yoshimoto Kogyo announced the disciplinary measure on Monday. The 11 include Hiroyuki Miyasako and Ryo Tamura, both of whom appear on various TV shows.
The Osaka-based agency says the comedians attended a year-end party in 2014 that was hosted by a group linked to money transfer fraud. The agency was not informed of the attendance.
The 11 had been invited through a fellow comedian, Shinya Irie. Yoshimoto Kogyo terminated its contract with him earlier this month.
The comedians will be barred from appearing on stage or TV indefinitely.
They are reportedly saying they were not aware that the party was hosted by a crime group.
Yoshimoto Kogyo said it was deeply sorry and keenly aware of its responsibilities. It said it will step up efforts to ensure legal compliance by all members of the company.