Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki might have to pay $168,000 in back taxes for income he failed to report before he joined the major leagues, according to a Japanese newspaper.

Ichiro is expected to be charged for not reporting $756,000 he earned from television commercials made in Japan between 1999 and 2001, the Web site for the Yomiuri newspaper reported today, citing national tax officials.

A spokesman for the National Tax Office couldn't be reached for comment by The Associated Press as all government offices are closed until Jan. 6 in celebration of the new year.

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Ichiro, who joined the Mariners for the 2001 season and won the AL MVP and rookie of the year award, won seven batting titles with the Orix Blue Wave of Japan's Pacific League.

He reported the earnings under a company run by his father, instead of declaring them as his own, the Yomiuri said. The company, Office Ichiro, had been managing Suzuki's income from TV appearances and product sales, the newspaper reported.

Ichiro was the top taxpayer among Japan's professional athletes between 1997 and 2000, the Yomiuri said. Japan's public broadcaster NHK said Suzuki's undeclared income was about $672,000.