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DAYS JAPAN magazine president, photojournalist fired over sexual harassment report

Ryuichi Hirokawa is pictured in this file photo taken in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward on Feb. 28, 2017. (Mainichi/Noriko Tokuno)

TOKYO -- The publisher of news photography magazine DAYS JAPAN has dismissed its president and photojournalist Ryuichi Hirokawa after a weekly magazine printed a report on Dec. 26 accusing him of sexually harassing women he met professionally.

After interviewing Hirokawa, the DAYS JAPAN publishing house admitted that most of the Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine's report was correct. Both Hirokawa, 75, and the publisher apologized in separate statements released on Dec. 26.

"I lacked awareness that I hurt those who were interviewed (by the weekly magazine) as I did not notice their feelings," Hirokawa wrote. "I apologize from the bottom of my heart to those I hurt because I was faithless."

The publisher's statement read, "We apologize from the bottom of our heart for the fact that Mr. Hirokawa, who has been the editor and publisher of DAYS JAPAN for many years, hurt the dignity of victims."

The company added that it recognizes that Hirokawa's actions "are extremely serious in light of DAYS JAPAN's philosophy." The publisher says it dismissed Hirokawa as representative director at an extraordinary board meeting on Dec. 25, and removed him from the company's board of directors at an extraordinary shareholder meeting.

The publishing house stated that it urges Hirokawa to respond sincerely to the matter.

Hirokawa is known as a war photographer who is also critical of nuclear power. DAYS JAPAN has covered refugees, ethnic tensions, poverty and human rights issues as well as war and terrorism. The publisher will suspend the publication of the magazine after releasing its March issue on Feb. 20, which marks its 15th anniversary. The publisher will then be dissolved.

(Mainichi)

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