The criminal case continues against comedian Yamamoto Keiichi (38). Police in Hakodate have sent documents to prosecutors regarding his alleged assault and rape of a 17-year old girl in the city on July 17, though an arrest is not expected at the present time. Yamamoto was in Hakodate to play for the amateur baseball team run by comedian Hagimoto Kinichi (65). He and several acquaintances picked up four local girls the night before the game and took them back to their business hotel. Yamamoto has admitted to having sex with the girl, but has insisted it was consensual and that the girl claimed to be 18. The latest move by police is an attempt to clear up contradictions in the two accounts. Yamamoto was dropped by the Yoshimoto Kogyo agency the day of the incident and is considered unlikely to be able to resume his showbiz career. His partner in the duo Gokuraku Tombo, Kato Koji, is continuing as a solo performer.
• From today, Americans will be able to get a glimpse of the future of Japanese baseball. The two pitching sensations who had their home nation enthralled during the recent national high school championship are part of the team that left for the U.S. yesterday. They will play a total of five games against American youngsters on the east and west coasts, as well as fit in a visit to Cooperstown and a Major League game. In particular, the media have focused on 18-year old Saito Yuki, who led Waseda Jitsugyo to their first Koshien title, and his rival Tanaka Masahiro of Komadai Tomakomai. Saito threw an amazing 948 pitches in seven complete games, including a replay of the final against Tomakomai. Rather than going the usual route and joining a Japanese team, he has expressed an interest in going to college and then playing in the major leagues. This morning’s wide shows featured footage of the team meeting New York Yankees star Matsui Hideki and visiting the Ground Zero site.
Actress Honjo Manami (31) has been named as a presenter of Fuji TV’s autumn variety show “The Best House 123”, despite the fact that she’s currently six months pregnant. The show, which will air from November 1, presents the world’s Top 3 in a variety of categories. Honjo, who along with comedy duo London Boots presented the show in a late-night slot in January, is expecting a baby at the end of December but plans to work until the last moment and hopes to be back on the show early in the new year.