TV Asahi came under government fire Feb. 17 for having left a radio device at the Japanese ambassador’s residence in Lima for about one month in attempt to communicate with captives being held inside the compound by Marxist rebels.

“I would like to make a serious protest,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiroku Kajiyama said at a news conference. ” I would like those who do not have to take responsibility (for the hostage crisis) to refrain from doing things like this.”

Kajiyama said any attempt to contact the hostages or the rebels holding them by using the radio equipment may negatively influence ongoing negotiations between the Peruvian government and the rebel group. He also said that, even if TV Asahi could receive messages from the hostages, there would be no proof that the captives were speaking free from threat of the rebel group. Kajiyama’s anger was apparently sparked not only by the incident itself but also by what he described as TV Asahi’s “lack of faithfulness” in handling issues related to the ongoing hostage crisis.

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