Actor Watari Tetsuya (63) has revealed that last year he filmed his role in the current NHK taiga drama “Yoshitsune” despite having pneumonia. He made the announcement on Thursday at a press conference to mark the end of filming. Last autumn, he told NHK staff that he had a cold, but was using an oxygen mask and checking into a Tokyo hospital every weekend. Watari plays the major role of Taira Kiyomori, while the title role of Minamoto no Yoshitsune is played by young heart throb Takizawa Hideaiki (22). The drama is based on “Heike Monogatari” (Tale of the Heike), the legendary story of warring clans in the late Heian Period.
• Former NHK chief producer Isono Katsumi (48) has been arrested for the fourth time. The latest arrest is for defrauding his employer of ¥11.5 million in fictional production costs for over 30 TV programs in 1999. The repeated surfacing of such cases has severely hurt NHK’s reputation over the last year or so.