Hiroko Kuniya was one of Japanese journalism’s brightest stars. As the host of Close-up Gendai, a current affairs programme on national TV channel NHK, she had established herself as a reliable voice of incisive news and analysis. She was feted for her sharp understanding of world news, formed in part by her experience studying in the United States.  Gendai has been a rare example of genuine public service journalism in Japan, a country where cosy relations between reporters and