Hiroko Kuniya, the widely respected anchor for NHK's stellar "Close-up Gendai" news analysis program, has been ousted from her position after 23 years with the show. She now joins a growing list of prominent news presenters and commentators who have discovered the apparent perils of not kowtowing to the government. She will remain on air in her 7:30 p.m. slot until April, so enjoy this journalistic giant among pygmies while you can.

Kuniya declined to comment on her impending departure, but told me by email about her approach to journalism.

"I have consciously been trying to follow in the footsteps of Ted Koppel," she said. "When I was studying in the U.S., (the news program) 'Nightline' started and I remember being glued to his fair and in-depth interviews. He has definitely taught me what journalism should be."