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Shukan Gendai’s open questionnaire

By Zach Arnold | April 16, 2006

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The focus from the magazine this week is on the TV networks (Fuji TV & Nippon TV) in relation to their ties to MMA. More details at Burning Spirit (Japanese) and here. NHB News has some reaction to the story (in Japanese).

Message board thread about this topic.


Photo credit: Mainichi Daily News/Shukan Gendai

The front cover of this week’s magazine has a red background with the yellow text on the right side, talking about the Inoki Matsuri producer speaking out, this time on the relationship between the crime syndicate (yakuza) and kakutougi, along with a questionnaire for both Fuji TV & Nippon TV (networks associated with MMA broadcasting).

The first page of the article starts out with a picture of Takanori Gomi, labeled the ace of the Bushido series. A review of the 2003 MMA wars with Kawamata and DSE is noted (background information). The reason the focus is on Bushido in the article is due to the fact that Gendai questions why Fuji TV would record the 4/2 Ariake Colosseum show and air it on 4/9 if they think DSE is a yakuza company and is in the middle of a yakuza scandal?

The second article page has pictures of both the Fuji TV & Nippon TV headquarters. The article goes on to say that the reason that Sakamoto and his Yamaguchi-gumi yakuza understudies (after being arrested on 2/23) were released on 3/16 in Yokohama is because Mr. I (Ishizaka), the financial backer of PRIDE, has jumped from Japan and has been not been tracked down. Because of this, it has slowed the criminal investigation down some. Also, Gendai goes into the roles of Fuji TV & Nippon TV in the 2003 MMA wars.

The third article page has a copy of last week’s awesome flowchart, talking about all the relationships of the major players in the yakuza scandal and how they are connected to each other. The magazine talks about the role of Nippon TV producer Shuji Miyamoto. The bombshell of the entire article this week is the revelation (according to Gendai) that DSE boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara was negotiating with Nippon TV to move PRIDE over to that network from Fuji TV. After the Bushido 4/2 Ariake Colosseum show was over, Sakakibara told the press that he wanted to move the Bushido show into golden (prime) time and that he was considering all options. The tough talk led some to believe that he may have been bluffing, but Gendai says that his intention was Nippon TV. This is surprising because of Nippon TV’s role in the 2003 MMA wars as one of the enemy networks to Fuji TV’s broadcast of the Otoko Matsuri (Man Festival) show. Shukan Gendai attacks Nippon TV for even considering the idea of wanting to be associated with a DSE broadcast given the current “big scandal” situation.

Shukan Gendai exclaims that both Nippon TV & Fuji TV should be sanctioned & banned from the fight industry because of their ties to the yakuza & DSE.

The fourth article page has pictures of both the Nippon TV & Fuji TV chairmen (Hieda). This is the questionnaire part of the article.

Fuji TV

  1. Were there employees who were questioned by the Kanagawa police in regards to threats made to Kawamata? (Is it not true that one of your employees (Fuji TV producer Kunio Kiyohara) was interviewed by the police to investigation his connections to the yakuza?)
  2. Kawamata pointed out that PRIDE is managed by the yakuza. Why was the PRIDE Bushido show recorded and broadcasted on April 9th if it’s a yakuza operation?
  3. Is there an in-house investigation at Fuji TV in regards to the relationship between PRIDE and the yakuza?

Nippon TV

  1. Did Nippon TV really not know that people related to the yakuza were involved in the Inoki Matsuri show until the arrest of Sakamoto and his two understudies on 2/23/2006?
  2. Shuji Miyamoto, Nippon TV producer, took the witness stand in the civil trial of Kawamata versus Nippon TV. (A direct quote is given from Miyamoto’s testimony about how he admitted that there were yakuza issues between DSE & Kawamata). What is Nippon TV’s response to this, given that the public relations department has been reluctant to answer? (Which statement is true – Miyamoto’s testimony or Nippon TV’s public statements?)
  3. Nippon TV is cooperating with the Kanagawa police in regards to threats made against Kawamata. Is an in-house investigation ready to be done in the near future in relation to this matter?

Topics: All Topics, Japan, Media, MMA, Yakuza, Zach Arnold | 4 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

4 Responses to “Shukan Gendai’s open questionnaire”

  1. Taizo says:

    There is one major TV channel that was part of these wars and is not being mentioned. It’s TBS. If two networks involved in the fight game are linked to criminals, what are the odds that the third one isn’t as well? Shukan Gendai is not a respectable magazine to begin with, but isn’t its objectivity compromised by the fact that Kodansha owns 20% of the TBS group? Kodansha used to own some of the Fujisankei group, but sold it back during the TOB to help out Hieda. So now it can attack NTV and Fuji without harming the value of its own assets.

    We already know that K-1 had some links to the underworld at least in the past. So why not start asking questions about what kind of deals TBS was doing at that time?

  2. Zach Arnold says:

    [There is one major TV channel that was part of these wars and is not being mentioned. It’s TBS. If two networks involved in the fight game are linked to criminals, what are the odds that the third one isn’t as well?]

    You are asking the question that I think will soon be addressed.

    The most interesting aspect to the whole Gendai interview series with Kawamata is that he’s essentially put the spotlight (both good and bad) on K-1 and Ishii. It may be at the point where the public pressure is going to push K-1 into filing a criminal complaint with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. If that happens, all bets are off as far as which direction this scandal goes.

    I think this interview series is only the very beginning of what could be an enormously painful process for a lot of people in the fight business.

  3. […] This is a summary translation of what was written in today’s newest article published in Shukan Gendai. […]

  4. […] Have people forgotten that it was Inoki’s 2003 Bom-Ba-Ye show that is the centerpiece of the whole yakuza scandal currently in Japan? […]

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