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Talent show reject phones in bomb threat to NHK

AFP-JIJI, Kyodo

A 70-year-old man was so enraged at being rejected by an NHK TV talent show that he allegedly threatened to blow up the broadcaster in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, police said Friday.

Kazumi Yaoita was arrested Thursday on charges of forcible obstruction of business after failing to land a spot in the nationally broadcast singing contest “NHK Nodojiman,” a police officer in the city of Niigata said.

The retiree’s hopes of fulfilling a long-cherished ambition were dashed before he even got to the audition stage, to be held Sunday in Nagaoka, with the weekly show’s producers sending him a postcard saying he had not made the cut, the officer said.

Infuriated, Yaoita then allegedly telephoned NHK from his mobile phone and threatened to blow up the site of the contest, which is shown nationwide on Sunday afternoons. If convicted, he could face up to three years in jail.

“Yaoita told police that he loves singing karaoke and that all his friends tell him he is a great singer. But he was rejected by a single postcard, which it seems really upset him,” the police officer said.

Because Yaoita’s number was displayed on the receiving phone, he was easy to trace and arrest, the officer said. NHK said it will hold the show Sunday as planned.