Fuji Television Network Inc. and newspaper publisher Sankei Shimbun Co. revealed on Friday that their joint opinion polls over the past year included answers fabricated by a contractor.
The two companies, both linked to giant Fuji Media Holdings Inc., said they will withdraw TV programs and stories that used the results of the tainted surveys and stop conducting them until they can devise a system to prevent such problems from recurring.
Bogus answers were used in 14 Fuji-Sankei surveys conducted between May 2019 and May this year. Among them were Cabinet approval rating surveys.
According to Fuji Television officials, Adams Communications Co. was commissioned to conduct telephone surveys on some 1,000 respondents for each poll, but subcontracted about half of the calls to Nippon Telenet without permission from Fuji TV or Sankei.
The Kyoto-based subcontractor fabricated about 180 answers for each survey on average without actually making phone calls. A Nippon Telenet official says the company did this because it could not secure enough people to get the work done but wanted to make money, according to Fuji TV officials.
Fuji Television and Sankei have apologized for the misconduct.