Public broadcaster NHK on Thursday apologized to Haruko Obokata, a stem-cell biologist and research unit leader at the RIKEN institute, after she was injured while fleeing from reporters on her way home on Wednesday night.
Obokata's lawyer Hideo Miki told a news conference that Obokata was in a taxi heading home from Kobe at around 8 p.m., when a reporter riding a motorbike followed her, TBS reported. She got out of the taxi at a Kobe hotel where she was pursued on an escalator by five NHK reporters, including a cameraman, Miki was quoted as saying. Obokata was also followed into the toilet.
Miki said Obokata sustained injuries including a sprained right elbow and neck pain requiring nearly two weeks of recovery time.
NHK contacted Miki and offered a formal apology for their reporters' behavior, saying they went too far and acted inappropriately, TBS reported.
Obokata has been under intense media scrutiny as she tries to confirm whether STAP cells really exist since it was discovered that a great portion of her research and data was found to have been riddled with inconsistencies. Obokata eventually agreed to pull her reports and submit them at a later time only if she is able to reproduce her findings.© Japan Today