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Sunday, June 4, 2006


Everybody gets to be a detective this week in TBS's "Uranaishi Misuzu" and more

Everybody gets to be a detective this week. In "Uranaishi Misuzu: The Incident Beyond Fate" (TBS, Monday, 9 p.m.), it's one of those street fortune tellers you see parked outside of office buildings at night. Misuzu (Kumiko Okae), however, isn't your run-of-the-mill palm reader. She's one of the most popular fortune tellers in Ginza. There's always a line of women waiting for her services.

On one particular evening, a department store clerk named Noriko is especially desperate to receive Misuzu's counsel. In the past, Misuzu had advised her about the prospect of marrying her boyfriend, but now Noriko has more important matters to discuss. Misuzu already has a line of customers she has to attend to first, so she agrees to meet Noriko at a coffee shop later in the evening. However, when she goes there, she finds out that Noriko has been murdered.

The detective in "Nursery School Detective" (Nihon TV, Tuesday, 9 p.m.) is, as the title indicates, a nursery school teacher, but Shinichiro (Ka-tsunori Takahashi) used to be a police detective before he opened his own day-care center in the Kabukicho entertainment district of Tokyo. However, he still moonlights as a private detective to earn extra money.

Shinichiro is hired by Yamauchi, a young leader of an underworld organization that controls a particularly lucrative neighborhood. Yamauchi wants Shinichiro to locate the mother of a baby that was abandoned in front of the organization's office. Using not only his skills as an investigator, but his winning way with preschoolers, Shinichiro finds a trail leading to the woman and soon discovers that Yamauchi is after something else.

This week, NHK will broadcast a two-part special documentary about the future of the United States-Japan military alliance. (NHK-G, Thursday and Friday, 10 p.m.) Recently, the two countries issued a final report about the realignment of U.S. military bases in Japan following three years of discussions. The media has mostly focused on the transfer of 8,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam, but the agreement includes much more.

Part one, which airs Thursday night, will be mainly about the spread of U.S. facilities throughout Japan. Part two, on Friday night, is about the faster pace of unifying Japan's Self-Defense Forces with the American military. The two programs will endeavor to look behind the scenes for the true intentions of each country in this old alliance.

Then, on Saturday night at 7:30, NHK's occasional debate program, "Nihon no Kore Kara (Japan From Now On)," will present a three-hour discussion of the alliance that includes views from both experts and normal citizens, many of which live near American military bases.

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