Former Kochi Gov. Daijiro Hashimoto, who also is a half-brother of former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, has become the main host of a morning television show.
Hashimoto, a former NHK reporter, is the new host of TV Asahi network's daily morning show "Wide Scramble." He was offered the position last fall after he regularly appeared on the show as a commentator.
It is the first time in 24 years for the 67-year-old Hashimoto to return to TV as an anchor following his departure from NHK.
"I only had to think about the offer for a moment. It is a rare opportunity for a 67-year-old to try something new," Hashimoto said.
Hashimoto left NHK after he was criticized for taking part in his brother Ryutaro's election campaign while serving as a news reporter for the network. In 1991, Hashimoto ran to become governor of Kochi Prefecture even though he had no connection to the area, just because his old friends encouraged him. After he assumed office, Hashimoto worked on new public projects such as introducing a green tax and constructing Kochi University of Technology.
Recently, morning TV shows have tried to snare viewers by introducing such topics as the sex lives of married couples. While the new host senses that viewers' preferences have changed, he emphasizes a need for balanced coverage.
Hashimoto has prioritized facts and worked to present logical arguments, but his former NHK colleague and TV commentator Akira Ikegami said that he is being too elegant on the show and needs to be himself.
Every time Hashimoto appears on TV, it is rumored he aims to return to the political scene. But he denies that.
"I am not planning to become a politician again," he said.