The decision was announced by Tanaka Akira, the president of WOWOW who attended the 10th WOWOW Scenario Award on 10 March. He commented that in view of what has happened, it was important to make improvements first to their production process and relook at their production guidelines so as to reinforce their original dramas' social role and existence value more than ever before.
It was also revealed that during the review of their production processes, another drama also had a similar situation. During the filming of upcoming drama "Hokuto - Aru Satsujinsha no Kaishin -" which is due to begin its run from 25 March, a male child actor who was 10 years old at that time, worked till almost 10pm due to delays in the filming schedule. However, "Hokuto" will go on air as planned.
Shuukan Bunshun published an article in its 2nd March issue alleging that WOWOW violated labour laws relating to minors on the set of its new drama "Tokyo Sumikko Gohan". According to the article, the incident happened at the Toei Tokyo Filming Studio in Nerima Ward, Tokyo on 21 January and involved child actor Inagaki Kurumi who is 6 years old. On this day, Inagaki started work at 12 noon and the filming extended all the way to 5am the following day which meant that she was working for 17 hours. It was reported that the director Mishima Yukiko was dissatisfied with Inagaki's acting and made her redo the scene more than 10 times since 3am. Despite the fact that the producer Morii Akira was around as well, he did not stop the filming. Inagaki's mother who was with her that day, had to console her daughter who was crying. It was also alleged that Inagaki went through a similarly long day of filming on the previous day which lasted for 14 hours and ended at 2am. However, according to Japan's labour laws, children below the age of 13 are not allowed to work between 8pm and 5am.
In response to the reports, WOWOW released a statement on its website where they admitted to the allegations and apologised to Inagaki and her guardians for what happened. In their statement, they confirmed that filming was conducted from 12 noon to 2am on 20 January and from 12 noon to 5am on 21 January. Including the waiting and nap time, Inagaki had to be on the set during these hours. Although they were aware of the labour laws relating to children, the extended filming hours was due to a delay in the filming schedule thus it was decided on the spot to continue filming beyond the designated hours. WOWOW also apologised to the viewers for betraying the trust they had in them and will take measures to regain everyone's trust and prevent this from happening again.
Sources: Sponichi Annex / Sanspo / Yomiuri Hochi / Oricon