TV Documentary


Program Name:MIATARI “Finders”
Country/Territory:Japan
Duration:25(min)×(Episode)


  • Introduction
The Japanese police have specialized investigators who find fugitives using only memory and intuition. These officers, known as miatari, succeed where high-tech investigative methods fail. On the hunt in stations and bustling streets, they stand for long hours, observe thousands of faces and try to find the fugitives. They can see through the disguises and plastic surgeries with which criminals can fool facial recognition systems. The unique techniques used by miatari were first deployed in Osaka in 1978. They’ve yielded more than 4,000 arrests and been adopted by 14 Japanese police forces including the Metropolitan Police Department. The research for this documentary began with a simple question: What makes miatari techniques so effective? How do they succeed? How are they trained? Miatari talk to photos of fugitives, burning the fugitives into their memories. Their low-tech methods may look dated, but they continue to produce results. The factors that emerged are the immense power of human imagination and the effectiveness with which miatari apply it. Sixty-year-old Hitoshi Morimoto of the Osaka Prefectural Police is an exceptionally successful miatari. Morimoto draws each fugitive into his mind by talking to a photo of them with unimaginable persistence. A scientist who researches facial recognition technologies based on artificial intelligence believes this technique causes Morimoto’s mind to create and collate many simulated images. Following Morimoto’s last days before his retirement, this documentary looks into a very unique investigation method based on a human skill that can only be achieved by hard training. As forensic investigation techniques become more advanced, artificial intelligence could soon take over most of the job. What part will humans play in such a world? What jobs can only humans do? These major themes underlie this documentary.
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Participating Company (Full name):NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp.) Country/Territory:Japan
Programme Title:MIATARI “Finders” Programme Category:
Length of Programme:( 25 )Min( )Sec ×( )Episode First Broadcasting Date:2017-6-23
Broadcaster:NHK Name:
Director:Aiko Kawahara Scriptwriter:
Cameraman:Hiroyuki Kozako
Previous Awards :Nov.2017 Galaxy Awards (Japan) : Honorable Mention Producer:Masahiro Shimizu / Yusuke Ito