The owner of a food shop selling popular local cuisine in Osaka, western Japan, has been accused of evading more than one million dollars in income tax.
The Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau has filed a complaint with local prosecutors that Tatsuko Miyamoto, has been hiding roughly 330 million yen, or about 3 million dollars, in income.
Her food shop is located in the Osaka Castle Park, near a gate leading to the castle tower. Its main food item is takoyaki octopus dumplings. A set of 8 dumplings is priced at 600 yen, or about 5 dollars.
People familiar with the matter say sales of takoyaki dumplings have seen a big jump at the food shop in recent years thanks to the increase in foreign visitors.
They say her business posted sales of more than 4.5 million dollars over the 3 years through 2016, but she has never reported them to the tax bureau.
Miyamoto reportedly saved most of the money she earned by not paying tax.
Retailers in Osaka's tourist destinations are enjoying higher sales thanks to the increase in visitors from abroad. The takoyaki dumplings are especially popular among foreigners.
Despite the intense heat in recent weeks, many tourists are seen buying the hot dumplings in Osaka's busy Dotonbori area.
A woman from China said the dumplings looked delicious so she had to taste them. A man from South Korea said Japanese takoyaki dumplings are different from those in his country, with various toppings and sauces.
The head of a company operating a takoyaki shop chain in the Dotonbori area says the number of foreign tourists has increased by 50 percent over the past 3 years. She says this has led to an increase in new takoyaki shops in the areas.