The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has sent a written complaint to Shinchosha Ltd., the publisher of the weekly photo magazine Focus, claiming a vice governor was injured during a scuffle ensuing from an attempt by the magazine to take a photograph of him, it was learned Sunday.
Focus editors denied the allegation, saying their photographer was hit by the vice governor, 52-year-old Takeo Hamauzu, though the journalist had done nothing beyond regular reporting.
According to the metropolitan government, Hamauzu was injured Friday night when he struggled with a reporter and a photographer from Focus, who tried to photograph Hamauzu at the housing complex in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward where metro government officials reside.
Hamauzu went to a clinic where a doctor said his injuries would take a week to heal, and then reported the incident to police, according to the Tokyo government.
“(The vice governor) was photographed in a violent manner and suffered injuries that would take seven days to heal. The incident affected his work as a public servant and we strongly denounce this incident,” the Tokyo government said in a statement mailed to the publisher and dated Friday.
Meanwhile, Igo Yamamoto, editor in chief of Focus, maintained that the magazine’s reporting was in order that night.
“Mr. Hamauzu suddenly rushed at the photographer and hit his left cheek when the photographer introduced himself . . . We photographed everything, and will publish these photos to show readers so they can make their own judgment,” he said.
The reporters visited the vice governor’s residence to confirm allegations that Hamauzu got into a fight with passersby on a street in Meguro Ward in the late hours of Sept. 27 after having drinks at a nearby restaurant, according to the magazine.
Hamauzu, who served as Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara’s secretary when the latter was a member of the House of Representatives, became vice governor in July after serving as a special aide to the governor since Ishihara took office in spring last year.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.