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Okinawa comedians suspended for getting paid to go to 'antisocial group' party

Slim Club members Ken Maeda, left, and Masanari Uchima are seen in the city of Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, on March 23, 2011. (Mainichi/Naoko Hosoda)

OSAKA -- A talent agency on June 27 decided to indefinitely suspend a comedy duo for receiving money to appear at a party held by an antisocial organization.

According to the management company, Yoshimoto Kogyo Co., Slim Club members Ken Maeda and Masanari Uchima, both 43, were present at the party held by members of a crime syndicate as a birthday celebration for the owner of an eatery at the request of a comedian belonging to a different agency.

Maeda and Uchima are both from Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, and formed the duo in 2005. Slim Club has attracted public attention at events, including the M-1 Grand Prix comedy competition. Maeda also appears as a "detective" in the popular TV program Knight Scoop aired by Asahi Broadcasting Corp.


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