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skepticism about NHK’s treatment of Hulu is whirling around even inside the broadcaster. “It is que

Time:2018-01-23 16:23Shoes websites Click:

news Japan Social affairs Asahi Shimbun Japan News

Criticisms are rising to a crescendo about Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK)’s handling of video footage of beloved J-pop icon Namie Amuro’s final performance in its annual year-end music show.

Questions have emerged about the public broadcaster’s explanation after Hulu, a paid online video provider, began distributing on Jan. 5 a video that it dubbed an “exclusive” of her last appearance in “NHK Kohaku Utagassen” (Red and white song contest).

Hulu’s 18-minute video also includes Amuro singing during a rehearsal.

Amuro announced in September that she would retire from the music industry in the fall of 2018. Her highly touted appearance at the NHK event marked the singer's last in the nationally televised New Year's Eve extravaganza.

Amuro, 40, sang live from a music studio separate from the main venue of the NHK song contest, which runs for more than four hours, on the night of Dec. 31.

Media outlets could not shoot footage of her performance as the studio’s location was not disclosed to them.

A flurry of questions were raised at NHK’s regular news conference on Jan. 11 about why the broadcaster allowed only one media outlet access to the singer’s performance.

A senior official at NHK’s production department said it is a common practice for the broadcaster to shoot behind-the-scenes footage of the music show for the live performance as well as for subsequent, special programs. The NHK crew was there to document Amuro and provided the footage to Hulu, the official added.

However, Hulu said at its official website that the video of Amuro it distributed was taken by a Hulu team.

It also reiterated the assertion in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun.

When the daily pointed out the discrepancy between NHK and Hulu about who actually took the footage, the TV broadcaster replied that it was taken by a Hulu team after an NHK subsidiary outsourced the job to it.

The broadcaster said it did so in consideration of its relationship of trust with the J-pop queen.

It denied allowing Hulu to film her was a factor in Amuro’s decision to appear in NHK's song contest.

Previously, NHK had come under fire after it admitted that it had wrongly distributed a photo to media organizations that it claimed came from Amuro's live performance. It had actually been taken during the singer's Dec. 30 rehearsal.

Now, skepticism about NHK’s treatment of Hulu is whirling around even inside the broadcaster.

“It is questionable to do a private-sector company a favor, given that NHK is a public broadcaster,” said one employee.

“It is totally unacceptable to hide the fact that NHK did not shoot it,” said another.

Hiroyoshi Sunakawa, professor of media at Rikkyo University, cast doubts about the way NHK handled footage of her performance.

“NHK staff should do the documenting of her performance if it plans to retain it as a record,” he said. “What it has done instead is create a cover story that was intended to avoid the impression it gave preferential treatment (to Hulu).”

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