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Anti-NHK party leader vows to continue protests against celebrity for 'ridiculing voters'

Takashi Tachibana, head of NHK Kara Kokumin Wo Mamoru To (The Party to Protect the People from NHK). (Mainichi/Masahiro Kawata)

TOKYO -- The leader of a political party critical of public broadcaster NHK said he will continue his protest over celebrity Matsuko Deluxe's comments in a commercial TV program, which he says ridiculed people who voted for the party.

"I may cause trouble to Kojimachi Police Station from next week as I'll visit (the Tokyo MX television station) at 5 p.m. every Monday (when Matsuko appears in the station's program)," said Takashi Tachibana, head of NHK Kara Kokumin Wo Mamoru To (The Party to Protect the People from NHK).

In the program called "Goji ni Muchu," Matsuko last month called members of the political party "sickening people" and said, "I think there are a considerable number of people who voted for the party as a joke."

Tachibana reacted sharply to the celebrity's comment. He staged a protest in front of a studio at the TV station when the program was being aired live on Aug. 12 and said, "Don't ridicule voters." He was joined by his supporters who gathered at the scene, leading to a standoff with police officers.

At a news conference, Tachibana explained his criticism is directed at Tokyo MX rather than the celebrity.

"I'm angry at MX, which uses airwaves, rather than Matsuko. I'd like to go to the station with voters to protest until they (the station) provide an explanation over why they insulted voters and apologize," Tachibana said.

(Japanese original by Itsuo Tokubo, Political News Department)

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