NHK suspends announcer for 3 months over groping incident

TOKYO —

Public broadcaster NHK on Thursday said it had suspended announcer Takeshige Morimoto, who anchored the “Ohayo Nippon” program on Saturday and Sunday, for three months after he was arrested for allegedly groping a woman on a train in Tokyo.

Morimoto, 47, was not indicted after the victim decided to drop charges earlier this week, NTV reported. On Nov 14 at around 8 p.m., Morimoto allegedly touched the breasts of a 23-year-old woman in a train between Shibuya and Futagotamagawa stations on the Tokyu Denentoshi line. Morimoto said he had been drinking with colleagues from around noon and that he had no memory of the incident.

NHK issued a statement Thursday, apologizing to its viewers and said it was suspending Morimoto because he had undermined public trust in the broadcaster.

Japan Today

  • 7

    Mirai Hayashi

    Morimoto said he had been drinking with colleagues from around noon and that he had no memory of the incident.

    There ya go! The usual excuse that'll get you exonerated from all crimes in Japan. If you get into a jam, just say you were drunk and have no memory of it. Works a surprisingly majority of the time.

    This guy shouldn't get to keep his job though...this whole thing is ridiculous!

  • 7

    Ewan Huzarmy

    Three months ! If I were the accused, I'd be deported !

    Funny how 'tarento', big businessmen, and the well connected get off scott-free, isn't it ?

  • 5

    Maitake

    Morimoto said he had been drinking with colleagues from around noon and that he had no memory of the incident.

    Durrrr!

    You disappoint me NHK... (as if your crap tv, commercials, and employees coming to my home asking for money for TV I don't watch didn't already)... You should fire this man. He has a drinking problem, right Yuri??

  • 5

    Yubaru

    Three months? It's like a slap on the hand if that. He should be fired!

  • 5

    Herve Nmn L'Eisa

    " …not indicted after the victim decided to drop charges earlier this week…"

    So, was it a false accusation or was she paid off/threatened in order to get the charges dropped?

  • 2

    wackness

    Three months means he has more time for drinking from around noon.

    I wonder if he gets paid during these three months? I doubt it....but....

  • 7

    Lilic

    I just can imagine how much money he paid to the victim decided to drop charges.

  • 3

    herefornow

    Fine moral example the national broadcaster is setting for the young people of Japan. A 47 year-old guy sexually assaults -- yes, groping is sexual assault -- a woman young enough to be his daughter, and he gets suspended for three months. Why not make him produce a PSA or have NHK sponsor a subway poster campaign featuring this lout and telling people that what he did was wrong/a crime? But, no, couldn't do that. That would make him lose face. And we all know that is more important that actally trying to make something good come out of this incident. Better to protect a drunken pervert -- for the "good" of the country. Screwed up priorities.

  • 2

    tmarie

    How much money did she get to drop the charges? Charges like this should never be allowed to be dropped. NHK, you disgust me.

  • 0

    cleo

    NHK, you disgust me.

    I can understand you being disgusted by the actions of Morimoto, or by the laws which say the victim is allowed to drop the charges and let him get off scot-free.

    NHK has taken it on itself to punish the man (although he has not been convicted of any crime) in their own way. He's unlikely to ever be given a spot in a key programme ever again. Would you prefer they air a programme showing him being hung, drawn and quartered on the stage of NHK Hall?

  • 3

    tmarie

    Yes Cleo. The only reason he's being let off is clearly because he paid her. IF she kept the charges, he's be sentences and fired. Money talks and makes a mockery of the system and the public it is suppose to protect. The lesson this guy learned is that he can get drunk, grope and pay off the victim and get a nice vacation out of it. You don't think he'll be back? I wish I felt the same as you. I think he'll be back to his regular role with no questions asked. Take a look at Nori P, SMAP and the like with how quickly the public forgets and forgives.

  • -3

    cleo

    The only reason he's being let off is clearly because he paid her. IF she kept the charges, he's be sentences and fired.

    So, what disgusts you is the victim letting herself be bought? That makes sense in a way.

    Haven't heard any news of either Nori-p or SMAP groping anyone...?

    • Moderator

      Readers, stay on topic please. Nori-P and SMAP are not relevant to this discussion.

  • 0

    DudeDeuce

    I have never gotten drunk before to the point where I go and grab a woman's breasts on the train.

  • 1

    tmarie

    I am disgusted that she's left herself be bought off. I am also disgusted that it is okay to do such things in the legal system.

  • 0

    edojin

    As with other "talents" who strayed from the main path, Takeshige Morimoto will return with full honors. Heck, like some of the other bums, he, too, might even be featured in a TV commercial (not on NHK, which has no commercials). He might even take a step toward higher stardom. As has been said before on JT, if a star here in Japan does something bad and returns with, chuckle, apologies, he/she will rise even higher in the ratings. As for the woman he manhandled on the train ... like other postings above, I, too, wonder how much she got for pulling out of the case.

  • 4

    Nessie

    Would you prefer they air a programme showing him being hung, drawn and quartered on the stage of NHK Hall?

    Would make a good kouhaku halftime.

  • -1

    tokyo-star

    DudeDeuce, you haven't lived then!! lol

    With such a prominent public presence, were there any witnesses? In the end, its her word against his (lack of memory).

    Edojin, would love to see him in a beer CM late afternoon!!

  • -8

    lostrune2

    She must've enjoyed it too since he only got 3 months. Guess fair's fair.

  • 0

    wtfjapan

    isnt it obvious!?, she dropped the charges because there was a BIG cash donation for her to do so.

  • 1

    Fadamor

    NHK has taken it on itself to punish the man (although he has not been convicted of any crime) in their own way. He's unlikely to ever be given a spot in a key programme ever again. Would you prefer they air a programme showing him being hung, drawn and quartered on the stage of NHK Hall?

    Exactly. The man was never convicted of a crime. Heck, he never even went to trial! I'm sure NHK had something worse planned for this guy if he had been tried and convicted. Odds are that NHK and this guy ponied up a bunch of money to get her to drop the charges, but we'll never really know for sure.

  • 0

    Tom Webb

    Guess he will be confined to the office or packed-off to back water office in the country. We won't see his face on TV any more.

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    The BBC could learn from NHK.

  • -1

    tmarie

    No, his charges were dropped because he has enough money to deal with it. That is the issue. One shouldn't be able to pay off someone when they've committed a crime.

  • 1

    ebonyninja

    Now! This explanation for misconduct is very similar to most of the explanations by military people for misconduct! Hmmm....imagine that! No suspended sentences, or 3 month suspensions from work only, for the military people. Everyone wants them in prison.

  • 1

    theFu

    NHK needs to end all drinking at any function with more than 2 people. I've worked on long-term jobs with a no-drinking clause in the contract; not before work, at lunch or on the way home. It really wasn't a big deal.

    Seems a public apology is mandatory. PSAs for non-groping is mandatory. 10% of his future earnings towards womens shelters. All the train systems should all ban him from riding forever. Paying for parking or taxis for the rest of his career will teach others a real lesson.

    I think he is lying. I cannot imagine actually being so drunk that I don't remember something, unless I passed out. As a younger boy, I claimed that I didn't remember something, when I did, vaguely. I was lying to help me and the nice young lady out of personal (not legal) trouble. Sure, I didn't recall every tiny detail, but the major things that happened that evening, I do still recall today.

    I wonder if he'd smoked pot instead, would he still have groped? Probably not, he'd be too busy eating chips.

  • 1

    bajhista65

    Just a SUSPENSION? He should be fired and banned working in media. This announcer is sick. He is lucky he is living in Japan where laws about perverts and maniacs are not strict. If he does that in other countries, geezzz for sure he will be in surgery.

  • -1

    bookowls

    And here's another reason why I don't pay NHK!

  • 0

    Kabukilover

    This guy did get off lightly but what evidence does anyone have that the woman was paid off or threatened?

  • 0

    AustPaul

    Don't suspend the guy just fire him, that would reassure the public that the national broadcaster is serious about sex crimes!

  • 0

    mikihouse

    the announcer is innocent. The girl kept on changing her testimony, she said the guy inserted his hands inside her panties and feel her up, then later she said the guy fondled her breast for more than 10 minutes then she changed her testimony again. It was 8 pm, full pack train. And yes, the girl has a history of catching gropers, she was bragging catching more than 10 guys in a span of 2 weeks in her twitter account for groping her....

  • -1

    cbravocompany

    Speaking from experience, his lawyer would have spoken on a few occasions with the victim and come to an agreement, money wise. The limit to pay for groping a woman is 300.000 yen or max 2 years imprisonment. She would have then signed a document saying that she doesn't want to take it any further. He probably also wrote her a 'simasen' letter. If any of you gaijins get in to that sort of trouble in the future, I suggest you get a good lawyer (preferably a woman that speaks English very well) - that'll cost 30.000 yen an hour, and make sure you have Eijuken. If not, then your visa (even spouse visa) will probably not be renewed.

  • 0

    mitoguitarman

    Story just below this one: US Marine gets 4 years for sexual assault. Hmm.

  • 2

    bicultural

    mitoguitarman, this man got suspended by his COMPANY. He still has to appear in court.

  • 1

    lucabrasi

    @mitoguitarman

    We're talking a quick grope vs. rape.

  • -1

    Soohwan Trass

    Suspension? More like a 3 month holiday....

  • 1

    Himajin

    'The girl kept on changing her testimony, she said the guy inserted his hands inside her panties and feel her up, then later she said the guy fondled her breast for more than 10 minutes then she changed her testimony again. It was 8 pm, full pack train. And yes, the girl has a history of catching gropers, she was bragging catching more than 10 guys in a span of 2 weeks in her twitter account for groping her....'

    If this is true then all the vitriol on the thread for the announcer is misplaced. Is it so inconceivable that a woman could lie? If you're male are you automatically guilty?

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