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NHK to delay start of drama to reshoot scenes played by arrested actress Erika Sawajiri

This photo taken in Tokyo on June 4, 2019, shows actors in NHK's historical drama "Kirin ga Kuru." NHK decided to replace Erika Sawajiri, second from left, with actress Haruna Kawaguchi following Sawajiri's arrest on suspicion of drug possession. Pictured third from right is Hiroki Hasegawa, who plays the leading role of Akechi Mitsuhide in the yearlong series. (Mainichi/Hisanori Yashiro)

TOKYO -- Public broadcaster NHK announced on Nov. 26 that it will delay the start of its historical drama series "Kirin ga Kuru" by two weeks next year, as it is reshooting some scenes following the arrest of Japanese actress Erika Sawajiri on drug charges.

The first installment of the yearlong drama series was originally due to be broadcast on Jan. 5, 2020, but the start date has now been set for Jan. 19, NHK said.

Sawajiri, 33, had been cast to play the role of 16th-century Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga's wife Kicho (Nohime) in the series before she was arrested on suspicion of possessing the synthetic drug MDMA, also called ecstasy, at her home in Tokyo.

The broadcaster decided to reshoot scenes in which Sawajiri had appeared, replacing her with 24-year-old actress Haruna Kawaguchi. The company says the total number of episodes to air has yet to be decided.

(Japanese original by Hiroki Sasamoto, Cultural News Department)

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