|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Top baseball commentator the latest to strike out in NTV's string of sex scandals 2006,10,02
Bunshun 10/5 By Ryann Connell
Perhaps the "N" in NTV stands for "naughty" considering the number of its announcers getting caught up in sordid sex scandals, suggests Shukan Bunshun (10/5).
Just a couple of months after NTV announcer Sosuke Sumitani was allegedly sprung using a hidden camera to film up an unsuspecting woman's skirt, now one of the network's most prominent talking heads is in hot water for sexual harassment.
Masashi Funakoshi held down the prime job of commentating on baseball games involving NTV affiliate, the Yomiuri Giants, in what is probably one of the most appealing jobs in Japanese sports broadcasting.
"What he did was simply wicked," a reporter covering the case for a sports newspaper tells Shukan Bunshun.
Funakoshi's alleged sexual harassment occurred during the summer when the Giants played in the country,with the regional affiliate throwing a whopping party for the commentary once the game was over.
Funakoshi found himself sitting next to a young woman working for the regional station.
"She's cute with big, round eyes and looks pretty wholesome. She's pretty enough to have been a beauty contest finalist during her college days," an insider at the affiliate says.
With the young woman sitting down next to him, Funakoshi started quaffing away, boasting about how he was destined to rise up through the network's ranks.
As Funakoshi bragged about one of the signature moments of his career -- attracting hundreds of complaints from viewers after he screamed "goal" at the top of his voice over 30 times upon Japan scoring in a 2000 Sydney Olympics soccer match -- the young woman turned to him and told the Voice of Japanese Baseball how she had always admired him.
Funakoshi told the woman that she had "scored a goal."
He continued drinking and the drunker he got, the closer Funakoshi moved toward the young woman still gazing at him with star struck eyes.
The party continued at a karaoke bar where Funakoshi grabbed the young woman, hugging her, wrapping his arm around her waist or slapping it across her shoulders as he caroused.
When the singing ended, Funakoshi asked the young woman to accompany him to one more location, telling her that he was close friends with NTV executives and promising to find her a job at the network if she played along.
"The woman was forced to accompany Funakoshi on a cab ride back to his hotel. Once they were alone, he roughly squeezed her breasts, clutched her thighs and thrust his hand up her skirt. He was so rough, her thighs were riddled with bruises," the affiliate insider says.
"Tthe woman thought about going to the cops to report him. But she could also see the chance of getting the job she'd always dreamed of and could do little more than cry her eyes out."
Eventually, though, the woman was so humiliated by what she'd been through, she reported the incident to her bosses, who filed a protest with NTV.
Funakoshi initially denied the allegations, saying that he had been too drunk to remember anything.
But then more stories of his transformation after a few drinks into a rampant pervert prompted NTV to act.
"We are not talking about the details of the case," an NTV spokesman tells Shukan Bunshun.
"However, it is a fact that one of our employees violated the employee code of conduct and has been punished accordingly in line with that code." (By Ryann Connell)
October 2, 2006