Toshio Suzuki, a co-founder of the largest Japanese animation company, Studio Ghibli is entangled in a scandal due to Suzuki’s usage of the animation studio’s money on his love interest which became a big topic in Japan now, according to Shukan Jyosei.
Suzuki co-founded Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata in 1985 and previously held the position of Studio Ghibli’s president has been misappropriating company funds. Instead, money has been going towards a Thai woman named Kanyada whom Suzuki has been seeing since 2013.
In 2018, Studio Ghibli approved the opening of a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand where Suzuki appointed Kanyada as the manager. Furthermore, Kanyada, who allegedly has no photography experience, would be the official photographer for the upcoming photobook. Several Studio Ghibli employees have since come forward anonymously, saying they have been reportedly forced to carry out miscellaneous chores for Kanyada under Suzuki’s orders. All of Kanyada’s travel and living expenses have been paid for by the studio under the guise of it being working with Suzuki. The amount of money involved is reported to be in the millions of yen, according to Asiantimes.com.
Although the president, Koji Hoshino, complained about these actions by Mr. Suzuki, Mr. Suzuki made Mr. Hoshino step down from the position of president at the end of March, and he was to leave the company in June. When interviewed by Shukan Jyosei, Mr. Suzuki simply said, “I had nothing to do with it.” Hoshino has said his reason for leaving is because the company has been “neglecting a problem for many years. It is producer Toshio Suzuki, the first president of Ghibli, who is the problem.”
Studio Ghibli has been a leader in the Japanese animation industry, with its productions being blockbuster hits across the board. Studio Ghibli has continued to produce works that are loved by men and women of all ages, and the brand it has built is one of the best in Japan.
Suzuki has not made a statement on this matter as of this article’s publication, Suzuki is currently credited as one of the producers for Miyazaki’s final studio film, “How Do You Live?” The film set to premiere in July 2023.