Report: Japanese Pokémon's Voice Actress Allegedly Involved In Covid-19 Relief Scam

According to Japanese publication Friday, voice actress Rika Matsumoto is under fire for alleged suspicious acts regarding the Japanese government’s covid-19 relief.

In Friday’s report (via Hachima, summarized by translated Doug Dinsdale), Matsumoto’s former manager alleges that the voice of Ash allegedly took advantage of government relief grants. Because of the global pandemic, the Japanese government offered to help support artists hurting from the impact of covid-19, offering 100,000 yen ($960) to those artists in need.

Matsumoto denies these allegations, and they have not been confirmed.

The Pokémon voice actress does not appear impacted by covid-19 as the show has continually aired throughout this year, so it would seem that Matsumoto would not need said assistance. However, according to the Friday article, the voice actress is alleged to have gathered a group of six individuals, supposedly demanding their relief be deposited in her bank account instead of directly into each artist’s own, per the regulations. Apparently, two of the applicants included in the application weren’t actually eligible for the relief payments.

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According to Friday, the former manager—who was supposedly included in that group receiving a government relief payment—alleged that Matsumoto included her without her knowledge. She reported this to the authorities, who said that the money should have been paid directly to each individual listed on the grant application. (She also claims that Matsumoto was quick to anger and would often change the Pokémon anime scripts, and alleges that Matsumoto was not the easiest person to work for, claiming that ten assistants had quit in the past four years.) The government realized that the manager was not eligible for the grant and demanded the money back.

These claims, however, have been refuted by Matsumoto, who told Friday, “I’m only holding the money.” The voice actress also claims to have paid back the money her former manager owes.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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Rika Matsumoto used payday.

...But it failed!