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Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007


Sports stars, primate nature special, eating disorders

There will be lots of international athletes coming to Japan this week and plenty of opportunities to see them do their thing on TV.

First up is the International Swim Meet 2007 in Japan, which will help determine the swimmers who will go on to compete at the Beijing Olympics next year.

TV Asahi will be broadcasting highlights of the Swim Meet, starting Aug. 21 at 6:30 p.m. On Aug. 22 the highlights will begin at 12:16 a.m.; Aug. 23 at 6:30 p.m.; and the final day of competition, Aug. 24, at 6:30 p.m. All coverage is hosted by former tennis star Shuzo Matsuoka.

Then on Saturday, Aug. 25, the 11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics will begin in Osaka.

There will be a pre-Swim Meet special on Aug. 24 called "Dream in Osaka" (TBS, 6:55 p.m.) that will feature past international track and field stars, including American sprinter Carl Lewis, reviewing past glories on the field.

The special, and most of the coverage of the meet, which will be broadcast extensively and exclusively on TBS through Sept. 2, will be hosted by actor-singer Yuji Oda.

Oda will also be the star of TBS's "Africa Dai-shizen Special" (Africa Big Nature Special; Tuesday, 9 p.m.), which is about primates.

Oda will travel to Madagascar and Tanzania to explore the meaning of "being human" from the viewpoint of our cousins who are (presumably) lower down on the evolutionary ladder.

Although all primates are considered genetically very close to one another, Oda wants to find out how close, and what the social activities of apes and chimps can tell us about our own behavior.

In Tanzania, he encounters a female chimp that has raised a lot of babies.

However, she has abandoned her latest for reasons that no one can explain. Nevertheless, other females in her group take it upon themselves to adopt the baby chimp.

The subject of food is never far from your average TV producer's thoughts, and this week's edition of "Kinyo Prestige" (Friday Prestige; Fuji, 9 p.m.) presents a two-hour science special entitled "Jinrui to Shoku no Mystery (The Mystery of Humans and Food)," which looks mainly at problems surroundingeating habits.

The special focuses on eating disorders that seem to be on the increase in the developed world, and not just in terms of obesity.

One segment looks closely at the case of a famous Brazilian model who recently died from complications brought on by anorexia.

The model's rollercoaster-like psychological condition was mirrored by her inconsistent eating habits.

From there, the program offers intimate portraits of the daily routines of several young women who say they cannot "control their appetites or eating habits."

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