Takahata Yuta began to enjoy attention as an actor when he appeared in last year's NHK morning drama "Mare" and is due to appear in NTV's 24 Jikan Terebi 39 this weekend as the programme's personalities along with comedy duo Oriental Radio. He also has a role in the drama SP "Moumoku no Yoshinori-sensei ~ Hikari wo ushinatte kokoro ga miete" where he plays a support at the rehabilitation centre which Yoshinori-sensei (Kato Shigeaki) goes to after losing his sight but his name and photo have been removed from the cast chart on the drama SP's official website. In response to news about Takahata's arrest, NTV announced that they will be looking into the possibility of getting another actor to re-film Takahata's part in the drama SP. Takahata was also scheduled to appear in the late night programme "Konya kurabete mimashita" on 23 August but the content of the show will be changed. In addition, Takahata who is supposed to appear in NHK's ongoing Taiga "Sanadamaru" from October onwards, will be replaced. FujiTV's mini drama "Tonari no Shinsengumi" will make adjustments to its next episode to be shown on 25 August. TV Tokyo is currently in discussions on how to handle Takahata's parts in their Summer 2016 drama "Otokomeshi". TBS has removed Takahata's name from the official website of their Summer 2016 drama "Aogeba Totoshi" but won't need to make adjustments to the drama since his appearance was limited to the first three episodes only.
Following news of Takahata's arrest, his Twitter has been switched to private mode and his blog has been deleted. At present, only his Instagram account (up to 4.23pm Japan time) can still be accessed. In the comments section of his Instagram account, many users left comments criticising his actions and scolded him for causing grief and a great inconvenience to his mother.
Takahata's agency released a statement in the same evening about his arrest and acknowledged that they were informed about what happened. The agency expressed deep regret and apologised to the victim and everyone who was inconvenienced and worried by what happened. At the moment, as he is still in police custody, the agency has been unable to contact him so they will try to find out more about the situation and will deal with this issue with utmost sincerity.
In Japan, rape is punishable with a prison sentence of between three years and below 20 years. If the charge is rape leading to assault or death, the prison sentence can range from more than 5 years to life imprisonment. When a prison sentence is longer than 3 years, there will be no suspended sentence. Assuming that the case goes to court, it will be decided by a jury. For a rape case, the indictment is dependent on the victim filing a complaint but for a rape leading to assault or death case, the investigation and trial continues even if the victim decides to drop the case.
Due to intense media attention and public concern over Takahata's case, his name was the No.1 trend topic on Twitter and keywords related to his case hogged the real-time search ranking on Yahoo! JAPAN.
As a result of her son's arrest, Takahata Atsuko has resigned from her hosting job for NHK's afternoon programme "Studio Park kara Konnichiwa" on 23 August where Sakakibara Ikue will take over the position. NHK accepted her resignation but did not go into details on what reason Takahata Atsuko had given. There is also concern over whether her career will be affected as she is seen in many dramas such as "Sanadamaru", variety shows, CMs and will take on a leading role in the stage play "Yukimaroge" to be performed between September and October
Sources: Nikkansports 1 / Nikkansports 2 / Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2 / Yomiuri Hochi 1 / Yomiuri Hochi 2 / Sponichi 1 / Sponichi 2 / Sponichi 3