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Sunday, Aug. 14, 2005


Beat Takeshi's art variety show, "Anybody Can Be Picasso" on TV Tokyo and more

On the 60th anniversary of Japan's surrender, TBS will present a drama about a different war. "Kakugo (Readiness)" (Monday, 9 p.m.) is the true story of journalist Shinsuke Hashida (Toshiro Yana-giba), who, along with his nephew Kotaro, was killed by militants in Iraq.

At the time, Hashida was arranging to have an Iraqi boy sent to Japan to have surgery performed on his eye. Hashida said he wanted to act as a bridge between Iraq and Japan.

Following Hashida's death, his wife, Yukiko (Naomi Zaizen), met with reporters and was subjected to rude questions and criticism. The press said that the couple were obviously not close because Hashida spent so much time away. They also questioned why Yukiko didn't break down into tears when discussing her husband's death. Ironically, Yukiko eventually received a message from the militants who apologized for the killing, saying that they didn't know who Hashida was.

Usually, Beat Takeshi's art variety show, "Anybody Can Be Picasso" (TV Tokyo, Friday, 10 p.m.), invites artists and entertainers to discuss their careers, but this week's subject will not be present in the studio.

Minako Honda started her career as just another teenage idol, but instead of fading off into the sunset when she started to grow out of her image, she tried to expand her range. Eventually, she auditioned for the Japanese production of the popular musical "Miss Saigon" and won the lead. Since then she has expanded her range even wider, moving into classical music.

Last January, Honda was diagnosed with leukemia and is currently undergoing treatment. The purpose of the show is to "encourage" Honda in her struggle with the disease by showing viewers the full scope of her talent.

Next weekend NHK will present a two-part special called "Water Crisis," which examines the global water shortage that now faces mankind. More than 1 billion people do not have access to safe water, and water for growing food is also in dangerously short supply.

Part 1 (NHK-G, Aug. 20, 9 p.m.) focuses on drinking water, and the worldwide trend toward privatizing water supply services. Many developing countries now lack the funds to properly complete their water-related infrastructure and have handed the job over to private companies. However, the result has often been that water is priced beyond the means of poor people. In the Philippines, for example, privatization has caused the price of water to quadruple.

Part 2 (Aug. 21, 9 p.m.) looks at the agricultural sector. In the 1960s, India became self-sufficient in terms of food production, but feeding such a huge population has depleted the underground water supply. Wells have dried up, which means it's impossible to grow enough food.

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