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Terrorists and prison breaks; “Secrets of Prefectural Residents”; CM of the week: Family Mart

Criminality is the theme of this week’s two-hour special edition of “Jitsuroku Sekai no Mystery” (“True Accounts of World Mysteries”; TV Tokyo, Mon., 9 p.m.). The main segment recounts a terrorist incident. On Dec. 11, 1994, Philippine Airlines Flight 434 was en route from Cebu to Narita when a bomb exploded, killing one Japanese man and injuring 10 others. The pilot was able to land the aircraft safely. The device had been planted by a famous international terrorist traveling under a false name who had been on the previous leg of the flight.

The special also looks at the daring escape of two convicts from one of New York’s maximum-security prisons in 2000. Though the escape was amazing enough, the story of what happened to the two men later is even more astounding.

Many Japanese terms utilize foreign words for unique meanings. “American coffee” describes a weaker brew and has no cognate in the U.S., unless you consider all American coffee weak by definition.

The variety show “Himitsu no Kenmin Show” (“Secrets of Prefectural Residents Show”; Nippon TV, Thurs., 9:50 p.m.) looks at dishes with foreign names and discovers that many don’t exist in the associated countries. The characters for “tenshin rice” are the same as those for the Chinese city of Tianjin, but the dish, fried rice covered by a dome of fried egg, is Japanese in origin. And what about “Naporitan” spaghetti? Was it really imported from Naples? Is “Toruko rice” actually Turkish? The show looks at local versions of such seemingly non-Japanese dishes.

CM of the week

Family Mart: As Japan’s third-biggest convenience-store chain, Family Mart has to try harder; and on the advertising front it makes the biggest impression due to its savvy use of female idols. Last year it hired K-pop girl group Kara before the group’s star began to fade in Japan, and this summer utilized virtual idol Hatsune Miku while “she” was being covered by the foreign press.

Now, they’ve got the hippest idol group of the moment, Momoiro Clover Z, shilling Famima’s fried chicken in a new CM complete with appropriately silly headgear and a catchy song, “Kichin to Chikin” (“Exactly Chicken”). At the end of the ad the five members are placed in a box, like pieces of chicken, ready to be consumed.