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‘Kidnap Tour’; ‘Takeshi’s How to Look at Japan’; Y! Mobile

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Now that school is out summer is officially here, and NHK celebrates with a dramatization of Mitsuyo Tsunoda’s novel, “Kidnap Tour” (NHK-G, Tues., 7:30 p.m.).

Fifth-grader Haru (Hana Toyoshima) is about to enjoy her summer vacation when her father, Takashi (Satoshi Tsumabuki), shows up unexpectedly. Takashi disappeared two months ago, and he tells Haru that he has made a secret deal with her mother to “kidnap” her for the summer. When she expresses reservations, he says she can go wherever she likes. Haru is thrilled and starts thinking up all the places she would like to visit.

The journey quickly turns into a disappointment when Haru realizes her father doesn’t have much money. But as she meets more and more of Takashi’s friends and associates, including an ex-girlfriend, she starts seeing a side of his character she never noticed before.

Refuse is a big issue these days, and is the subject of the occasional information special, “Takeshi no Nippon no Mikata” (“Takeshi’s How to Look at Japan”; TV Tokyo, Fri., 10 p.m.), hosted by Beat Takeshi Kitano.

The theme of the show is what happens to common waste once it is discarded. In many cases it can be turned into something even more valuable and useful. The camera crew goes to a huge factory that makes only one thing: pencils. But what does the factory do with all the sawdust it generates? It is converted into a kind of clay material that is shipped it to another factory, in Hyogo Prefecture, which “processes” discarded home appliances, including refrigerators and TV sets. How the clay is used turns out to be quite interesting.

Another segment goes to Italy to study how different regions of the country handle recycling in various ways.

CM of the week

Y! Mobile: If you were in Japan in the early 1980s you may remember the “name-neko” craze: cats dressed up in nationalist garb associated with biker gangs. Mobile communications provider Y! Mobile remembers. Actress Mirei Kiritani is walking down the street with her tabby when they hear someone say, “That’s a big face.” They turn around to confront a group of name-neko, who, by definition, are kittens. The leader is impressed with the adult tabby’s larger visage, which is three times bigger than his. Kiritani points out that her monthly smartphone charges are only ¥1,980 a month — get it? That’s one-third the usual price. The tabby, however, is dismayed, since big faces are so uncool.