• Kyodo


A former NHK reporter charged in two rapes was served a fresh arrest warrant Thursday on suspicion of committing a third, police said.

Yasutaka Tsurumoto, 28, is suspected of breaking into the room of a woman in her 20s and sexually assaulting her early on Dec. 12, 2013, while a reporter at NHK’s Yamanashi Prefecture bureau.

He has denied the allegation, the police said.

In February, Tsurumoto was indicted on a rape charge involving different woman a year earlier in Yamagata and again on Wednesday regarding an October 2014 rape in Yamanashi.

DNA samples collected from the two Yamanashi sites matched those left at the site in Yamagata, investigators said.

According to an investigative source, Tsurumoto denied the charges in those cases as well.

Tsurumoto worked at NHK’s Yamanashi bureau between 2011 and 2015 before moving to the Yamagata bureau in July 2015. He was dismissed on Feb. 16.

NHK Chairman Ryoichi Ueda said at a regular news conference Thursday that Tsurumoto bears a grave responsibility for hurting the public broadcaster’s credibility and said he takes the incidents “very seriously.”

“We would like to extend our deepest apology once again to those victimized in the incidents and those concerned as well as the viewers,” he said.

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