TV Asahi rapped over Fujii slur

The government said Tuesday it has reprimanded TV Asahi Corp. over its erroneous coverage of former Transport Minister Takao Fujii in a TV program last year.

In the reprimand issued to TV Asahi President Michisada Hirose, the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry said the major television network committed a “grave error.”

According to the ministry, a talk show program aired by TV Asahi last September erroneously depicted Fujii as heckling an opposition lawmaker who was posing questions at a Diet session on North Korea’s abduction of Japanese nationals.

The program thus gave viewers the impression that he was unenthusiastic about resolving the abduction issue, it said.

But Fujii was not present at the session while the questions were being posed and the footage of him heckling was taken from a different session.