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NHK dismisses announcer after arrest for ‘dangerous drugs’

Kenichi Tsukamoto
Kenichi Tsukamoto

TOKYO (TR) – Public broadcaster NHK announced on Tuesday that a male announcer who had been charged with crimes connected to so-called “dangerous drugs” will be dismissed, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Feb. 17).

Beginning on February 23, Kenichi Tsukamoto, 37, will be relieved of his duties as a news anchor.

In January, Tokyo police arrested Tsukamoto for possession of a bottle of the illegal substances in liquid form at his residence in Bunkyo Ward. He was later re-arrested for the production of the drugs.

On February 9, a Tokyo summary court ordered Tsukamoto to pay 500,000 yen for producing the drugs.

The varying chemicals comprising dangerous drugs, which usually provide a hallucinatory effect, are often able to exploit legal loopholes. Since April of 2014, the health ministry has been adding the names of prohibited compounds in order to restrict their use.

Tsukamoto jointed NHK in 2004. Since April of last year, he has appeared on the news program “News Shibu Goji.”

“In preventing a recurrence, we will endeavor to provide thorough guidance to staff,” a representative of NHK said in a statement. “To our viewers, we would like to once again apologize.”