TBS apologizes for editing gaffe

Yanagisawa widely criticized for comments

In the latest flap involving a Japanese variety show, the TBS web apologized on Wednesday for the edit of a segment on its “Sunday Jumbo” program.

In the segment, Welfare Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa is shown apologizing in Parliament on Feb. 7 for his remark at an earlier news conference that “Young people are in an extremely healthy state when they want to marry and want to have two or more children.” Yanagisawa was widely criticized for implying that childless couples and women who have only one child are somehow not “healthy.”

Actually, however, the apology was for a more controversial remark by Yanagisawa, in a speech last month, describing Japanese women as “birth-giving machines.” TBS’ editor made Yanagisawa appear to grovel before his Parliamentary interlocutor, a female opposition party member, when he did nothing of the sort. In issuing its apology for the edit, TBS did not say what punishments, if any, it had decided for its perpetrators.

TBS web also recently made a public mea culpa for what it described as “misunderstandings” arising from a Feb. 3 broadcast of the show “Ningen! Kore de Ii no Da” (Humans! This Is All Right) in which students at a school in Ibaragi Prefecture were said to derive mental stimulation from the “hypersonic” sound of wind chimes.

School officials later said that the show’s producers had brought the chimes to the school, which had previously never used them to stimulate student brains. The producers countered that the school’s principal had made the remarks praising the effects of the chimes.

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