Violinist to oppose $120k Canadian border fine

14 January 2014, 10:06

After failing to declare almost half a million dollars' worth of instruments, violinist Yosuke Kawasaki is opposing the Canadian Border Services Agency, who have fined him $120,950.

The Japanese-American violinist was carrying a violin worth $385,000 and three violin bows worth $90,000, $6,800 and $2,000 when they were seized by the border agency in December 2012. At the time, he paid a $20,000 partial fee to secure the release of the instruments.

According to, Kawasaki now claims that the punishment is far too harsh and he is currently applying to have his deposit refunded and the fine revoked. He also said that he was within his rights to enter Canada with the instruments because he entered as a settler.

The original incident took place at the Thousand Islands Bridge’s Landsdowne crossing. Kawasaki's violin rare and valuable violin dates from 1833 and a Turin manufacturer named Joannes Franciscus Pressenda.

Previously, Kawasaki has been concertmaster of the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada.

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