Official photos released by NHK of Namie Amuro's performance at "Kohaku Uta Gassen" have turned out to be fake.
Amuro's stage for Kohaku was held at an undisclosed location. Because its location was kept a secret, the press was unable to photograph the performance.
After Amuro's performance, NHK's public relations office sent out photos to the press of what appeared to be the performance. These photos were widely published quickly after the performance occurred.
A closer look at the photos' data showed that the photos were taken on December 30. Amuro's stage was held live on December 31. Reporters questioned NHK about the authenticity of the photos.
On January 5, Takayuki Fujioka, the director of public relations at NHK, admitted that the photos released to the press were not actually of Amuro's performance. Instead, the photos were taken the day before during rehearsals.
Fujioka explained that no photos were actually taken during Amuro's performance. The singer's side requested that photos not be taken during the performance, but allowed photography during rehearsals.
Amuro's costume, hairstyle and stage were all the same between the December 30 rehearsal and the December 31 performance. Fujioka did not believe there was any issue with releasing the rehearsal photos as the performance photos because everything appeared to be the same.
Fujioka has issued an apology for lying to the press about the photos. There currently is no word regarding disciplinary action against the director.