• Kyodo News

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Masaru Nashimoto, a trailblazer in Japan in the field of entertainment reporting, died Saturday in a Tokyo hospital of lung cancer, his office said Monday. He was 65.

Born in Tokyo, Nashimoto started his career as a reporter hunting for celebrity gossip and scandals in 1976 when he got a job as a reporter for a TV Asahi tabloid show, switching from his previous job as a magazine reporter.

With his trademark phrase “kyoshuku desu” (sorry to bother you) when aggressively chasing celebrities, he became a popular TV figure.

His appearances were reduced in recent years after he criticized a TV station’s self-imposed ban on covering news involving certain celebrities, but Nashimoto continued reporting, setting up an Internet site for mobile phone users.

After publicizing his battle against lung cancer in June, he posted a number of messages via Twitter.

He became a guest professor at Hakodate University in 2000.

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