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Head of local NHK station suspended for alleged intrusion into women's bath

The headquarters of public broadcaster NHK is seen in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward. (Mainichi/Akihiro Ogomori)

TOKYO -- The head of public broadcaster NHK's Saga Prefecture branch in western Japan has been removed from his post and suspended for two weeks for allegedly intruding into the women's bath area at a hot spring being used by female staff, people close to the case told the Mainichi Shimbun.

NHK announced on Nov. 5 that 59-year-old Takafumi Wakikawa had been suspended and transferred to the broadcaster's human resources section for "inappropriate actions violating staff conduct regulations." NHK declined to give specific details "because they relate to the privacy of the people involved."

Individuals with knowledge of the incident, however, stated that Wakikawa went to the hot spring facility with his co-workers and, after drinking, barged into the area where female NHK staff and other women were bathing.

Wakikawa had been chief of NHK's Saga station since April 25, 2016, after heading the broadcaster's Secretariat when former NHK President Katsuto Momii was in office.

(Japanese original by Tomohiro Inoue, Cultural News Department)

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