NHK announcer arrested for alleged possession of ‘dangerous drugs’

Kyodo JIJI

An NHK news announcer has been arrested for alleged possession of “dangerous drugs” in violation of the law governing medicinal chemicals, the health ministry’s drug control division said Monday.

Kenichi Tsukamoto, 37, reportedly admitted to the charges, saying he intended to use the drugs for himself, the division said, adding it will investigate how he obtained them.

The Kanto-Shinetsu Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare’s narcotics control department arrested him Sunday on suspicion of violating the pharmaceuticals and medical devices law, NHK confirmed.

Tsukamoto allegedly kept the drugs in his condominium in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, on Sunday.

Tsukamoto, who regularly appears on an evening news program, is suspected of having a small amount of liquid drugs that are illegal to possess except in certain circumstances, such as for medical treatment.

The term “dangerous drugs” refers to drugs containing chemical agents that cause hallucinations and have stimulant actions. Their possession and use was banned in April 2014.

NHK released a statement saying “we deeply regret that one of our employees has been arrested and sincerely apologize to viewers and those concerned.”

The public broadcaster said it will respond to the matter firmly after gathering all the facts.