Since the article below was published, it has attracted thousands of comments and thousands of re-tweets. Netizens have expressed shock at the story, particularly because it appears that Yokote has not been arrested by police since the incident.
From Yomiuri Sports Hochi:
‘Chinopan’ Causes Fatal Accident in Shizuoka As She Returns Home
Former Fuji Television announcer Yokote (Chino) Shio (35), affectionately known as ‘Chinopan’ ran over Hagiwara Toshifumi (38) of Komoro City, Nagano Prefecture with her car in the parking lot of a hotel in Numazu City in Shizuoka Prefecture at around 5pm on January 2.
According to the Numazu police, Yokote, who was on her was on the way to the family home in Numazu, was driving a passenger vehicle in the parking lot when she hit Hagiwara. Hagiwara was impacted in the chest and abdominal area, and died in the hospital he was transported to. Yokote herself called 110 and said ‘I’ve caused an accident’. The scene of the accident was a business hotel next to the Tomei expressway Numazu interchange, and is big enough for several tens of cars to park. The hotel commented that ‘The attendant was not [in the car park] at the time so details are unknown’.
After graduating from Sacred Heart University in Tokyo, she joined Fuji Television in 2000. When she was still new to the company she worked as the presenter of a variety television programme called ‘Chinopan’. ‘Chinopan’ became her nickname and Yokote’s popularity grew.
In 2006 she married the nephew of former prime minister Fukuda Yasuo, an employee of foreign investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, and quit her job at Fuji Television. Her husband, who works in an office in Roppongi Hills is known as one of the ‘Hill-zoku'[Roppongi Hills tribe] elite, and the 500 big names from the world of politics and business who attended their wedding ceremony became a talking point. Yokote’s father is also a Numazu city councillor. In 2008 she gave birth to twin boys, and in 2009 she gave birth to a daughter. More recently, she appeared on a quiz programme in December of last year. She also has a regular programme on TOKYO FM. In April of last year, she published the book ‘A Way With Words: Seize Your Own Happiness’.
Comments from Twitter:
Seems to me that in this incident there are a lot of things that are unclear
I don’t think that there’s that much room inside the car park of the Numazu interchange hotel, but maybe she just went too fast by accident?
いっしー @2013/6/1 BBF:
They say that the accident happened at a hotel in front of the expressway interchange… RT @shimism: I mean…it’s over for her RT @hiroyuki1982
It’s not a good thing that she did this, but it’s going to be hard for her just because she’s a former announcer, I mean, people know her name.
So, if this was a normal person, they’d have been arrested first and foremost, right? Maybe I got that wrong…
I read that Chinopan ran someone over in her car. So shameful. Sometimes life takes a turn for the worse RT @kirik: RT @yjochi: This surprised me. She should take care to drive safely.
Chino-pan’s done it this time.
If you go to 2ch, it was a business hotel in a love-hotel area that was right next to the Numazu interchange〜Full points on [email protected]: Ah…so that’s why, you shouldn’t drive yourself there.RT @ta1119ka
It’s nobody’s business, it’s just a traffic accident that wouldn’t even make the news if it was a normal person.
I’m sorry for the man who died, but why are they adding ‘san’ [suffix like ‘Mr.’ or ‘Mrs.’]? Why isn’t it ‘suspect’ [usually used instead of ‘san’]? The media go easy on their own, but they’re just creating a predisposition to collusion without the slightest hint of journalism.
How about arresting her? Why are they calling her ‘san’ despite the fact that she caused a fatal accident? Usually she’d be referred to as ‘suspect’. Is it because she has some big names close to her? The media is soft on celebrities.
Could happen to anyone. I’m going to be more careful.
This is frightening. That’s why even though I have a licence, I try not to drive much.
She took a man’s life because she wasn’t driving carefully.