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NHK suspends staffer who was not prosecuted for assaulting taxi driver

TOKYO (TR) – A male staff member at NHK who was not prosecuted over the alleged assault of a taxi driver has been suspended from his post, the public broadcaster said last week, reports Daily Sports (May 21).

On May 21, the broadcaster announced that Ryosuke Sayamoto, employed in a broadcast news division, will be suspended for two months.

“We concluded that the [Sayamoto’s actions] bear great responsibility due to the serious damage to the social credibility of [NHK],” the broadcaster said.

Early on February 15, Sayamoto, aged in his 30s, allegedly punched the driver in the face and kicked him in the leg on a road in Shinjuku Ward. He also threw a fire extinguisher.

The driver suffered light injuries to a leg, the Ushigome Police Station said previously.

Upon his arrest on suspicion of inflicting bodily injury, Sayamoto denied the allegations. “Since I was drunk, I do not recall [the matter],” he said.

Prosecutors dropped the case in April.

“We deeply apologize to the [driver], related parties and viewers,” the broadcaster added. “We will provide thorough instruction to staff.”