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NHK ONLINE ENGLISH

Comments from the Top (Executive Director - General of Broadcasting)

Executive director - General of Broadcasting

Summary of Press Conference (December, 2017)

  • The selection of the guest judges for the 68th NHK Kohaku Utagassen (Red-and-White Year-End Song Festival)

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida, Executive Director of Broadcasting)

    The eight guest judges for the 68th NHK Kohaku Utagassen have been decided. Actors and actresses from NHK dramas “Hiyokko”, “Onna Joshu Naotora” and “Sego Don”, sportspeople who have excelled this year, as well as popular shogi (Japanese chess) players, people from a wide variety of fields, have been selected. In addition to this, I will explain how the winning team of the Kohaku Utagassen will be chosen. This year, viewers will vote from their remote controllers as the ‘Viewers judges’, which will be added to the ‘Audience Judges’ votes from the live audience at the NHK Hall and the votes from the ‘Guest Judges’, the highest total of which will decide the winning team. Among this, the ‘Viewers Judges’ will vote on each individual red-and-white contest.

  • Related to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida)

    Broadcast plans for the PyeongChang Olympics
    There are about 50 days to go until the PyeongChang Olympics open in February next year. The current stage of the broadcast plan has been completed. There is no time difference between South Korea’s PyeongChang and Japan.
    ●General TV
    On General TV, every day from 9 a.m. until midnight, the passion of the Olympics will be delivered. The Opening Ceremony is from 7.30 p.m. on February 9th. On the 10th, from 9.30 p.m., the individual ski jump men’s normal hill will feature competitors including Noriaki Kasai and the other Japanese athletes who people will be rooting for. On the 12th from 9.30 pm., the women’s normal hill ski jump will feature Sara Takanashi, Yuki Ito and other competitors who will be battling it out for the medals. On the 14th from 6.45 p.m., the women’s 1,000-meter speed skating will feature Nao Kodaira, who set a new world record at this month’s World Cup, and Miho Takagi for whom there are high hopes. On the 17th from 9.50 a.m., the figure skating men’s singles free program will take place. All eyes in this event will be on Yuzuru Hanyu, aiming for consecutive victories, and Shoma Uno. On the 25th, the Closing Ceremony will be shown live from 8 p.m. to 9p.m. on Educational TV because of the broadcast of the Taiga historical drama. In addition, Japan national team’s in the women’s ice hockey, and men’s and women’s curling will also be shown live.
    ●BS1
    Every day from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. there will be mainly live broadcasts, and from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. the ‘Catch-up Zone’ featuring footage of events recorded live during the day is due to be broadcast.
    ●Radio 1
    Figure skating, speed skating, ski-jumping and other popular events will form the basis of coverage.
    ・The broadcast schedule announced today is the current plan and therefore subject to change in the future.
    ・The Paralympics broadcast plan is currently being formulated and is due to be announced during January.

    Announcement of the presenters for the Olympics
    I will introduce the presenters who will report from the Olympic venues. Presenters Maho Kuwako and Kazuo Tomisaka will be responsible for commentary of the Opening Ceremony. This will be their first time providing commentary for the Opening Ceremony. Presenter Tomisaka will also provide commentary from PyeongChang on programs for the duration of the Games. Aiko Uemura, the ski mogul competitor who appeared in five consecutive Winter Olympics, will a leading presenter for the NHK Olympic broadcasts, covering the Opening Ceremony and appearing on programs throughout the Games. For the broadcasts of the Closing Ceremony, Takaki Toriumi and Yuki Sugiura will take on presenting duties. Presenter Sugiura will also provide commentary from PyeongChang on programs for the duration of the Games.

  • Related to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics (2)

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida)

    “Athlete no Tamashi (Soul of the Athlete)” Olympic competitors
    Programs related to the Olympic Games to be broadcast next month. The “Athlete no Tamashi (Soul of the Athlete)” program, which is broadcast on BS1 every Saturday from midnight, will focus on competitors who will be participating in the PyeongChang Olympics, in four programs from January 6th to 27th. The programs will take an in-depth look at the athletes’ bodies and techniques with using the latest equipment and also focus on the psychological approaches they use to cope with mental stress and setbacks. On January 6th, it will feature Nordic Combined skier Akito Watabe, who has aimed to be ‘top in jumping and cross-country’. The program will take a close look at Watabe, whose goal is to be the ‘true king of skiing’. On the 13th, Yuki Sasahara, a 15-year veteran of the sport who tasted failure at the Sochi Olympics, will talk frankly about ‘being on the edge’. The program will look at Sasahara’s comeback, the challenge of his contemporary rivals, as well as up-and-coming young competitors, and whether he can overcome his own limits. On the 20th, the program will focus on Ayumu Hirano, the half-pipe snowboarder who in March this year suffered a terrible injury to his left knee while attempting a big move that only a few people in the world have succeeded in completing. Despite this, he has undergone a comprehensive program of rehabilitation, because without completing that big move he will not take the gold medal. The program will look at him facing his fears and confronting them on the way to his Olympic challenge. On the 27th, the program will feature the Sports Community Karuizawa Club men’s curling team. For three months from September this year, the club undertook an extended training camp in Canada, the home of curling, during which it competed against numerous strong local clubs. The program will follow the team’s ‘journey to mecca’ to the three-time consecutive Olympic champions Canada, who are said to be the world’s strongest country at curling, and the brutal, intense training they undergo and their passion. The “Soul of the Athlete” program will provide insights into the striving of the competitors for whom there are high expectations for the PyeongChang Olympics just before the opening of the Games in February.

  • On the drama written by scriptwriter Akira Hayasaka

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida)

    Akira Haysaka, who has written the scripts for numerous NHK dramas, passed away last Saturday. Mr. Haysaka had completed the script for an original drama that is scheduled to be broadcast on NHK. He had been active as a writer of scripts for television and movies since the 1960s. This drama is a continuation of the story from the NHK drama “Hana Henro”, which provoked a big reaction from viewers when it was shown in the 1980s. The story, which revolves around the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, was based on Mr. Hayasaka’s personal experiences. Mr. Hayasaka said that he ‘definitely wants to leave this story behind’ as he worked on the script for many years, and as it was decided the drama would be made, he became even more focused on completing the script. After that, the scriptwriter Motofumi Tomikawa, who wrote the historical Taiga drama “Toge no Gunzo”, began working on the script with Mr. Hayasaka, and they finished the first draft last Thursday. The aim is to have the drama broadcast next year.

  • NHK Special “Heisei Time Traveler – Watashi to Anata no 30-nen (Heisei Era Time Traveler – My and Your 30 Years)”

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida)

    On New Year’s Day from 9 p.m., NHK Special “Heisei Time Traveler – Watashi to Anata no 30-nen (Heisei Era Time Traveler – My and Your 30 Years)” will be broadcast. With the Emperor to abdicate, April 30th the year after next will see the Heisei Era come to an end. From the more than 3,000 programs which have been broadcast since the beginning of the era, programs that represent the Heisei Era, such as those related to the “bursting of the economic Bubble” and “globalization” will be selected. The programs will provide a look back at the era, what it meant for us and what its legacy will be. In addition, guests including film director Yoji Yamada and author Kaoru Takamura will be invited to discuss the outlook for ‘the next era’.

  • NHK Special "Mikaiketsu Jiken (Unsolved Crimes)" File. 06 Sekihotai Jiken

    (Comments by Hiroshi Araki, Senior Director, Responsible for NHK WORLD, Assistance of Broadcasting)

    Over two days, on January 27th and 28th, NHK Special Series "Mikaiketsu Jiken (Unsolved Crimes)" will be broadcast. This time, the sixth part of the series, will cover the “Sekihotai Jiken”. 30 years ago, on May 3rd 1987, on the evening of Constitution Memorial Day, a man wearing a cap burst into the Asahi Shimbun newspaper’s Hanshin bureau and opened fire with a shotgun, killing one reporter and seriously injuring another. After that, Asahi Shimbun offices all across the country were attacked and suffered bombing attempts, making the crimes a nationwide incident. However, 13 years ago, the statute of limitations on the crimes expired with them still unsolved. The program consists of two different parts, a ‘reality drama’ and ‘documentary’, based on materials and testimonies from those involved, the results of original reporting. The programs will examine the dark topic of the ‘freedom of expression terrorism’ incident that shook Japan. The ‘reality drama’ on the 27th will feature Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, who narrated the Unsolved Crime "Tsuiseki (Tracking) Project" programs that were broadcast in 2015.

  • “Diamond Hakushi (doctor) no Hito no Himitsu (Secrets of People)” Series

    (Comments by Hiroshi Araki)

    On Educational TV from January, a new program “Diamond Hakushi (doctor) no Hito no Himitsu (Secrets of Humans)” will be broadcast. Dr. Jared Diamond, evolutionary biologist and author of worldwide best-seller ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’, gave special lectures in Los Angeles aimed at young people, which will be broadcast over 12 programs. The lectures address how the DNA of humans and chimpanzees are just 1.6% different, how humans have evolved from animals, as well as focusing on what makes humans and animals different. They also examine topics including ‘whether animals have language and art’ and ‘is the way they encounter the opposite sex different’, as well as find the answers to questions of human destiny. And on December 30th, an interview with Dr. Diamond will cover topics such as why he wanted to deliver these lectures now, as well as introduce the content for the whole series in a prologue program.

  • Super Premium “Gurutto Sekido 3-jikan Special (Around the Equator – 3-hour Special)”

    (Comments by Yasuhiro Kan, Senior Director, Assistance of Broadcasting)

    On BS Premium from January the six-part “Great Nature Special Sekido Chokka 4-man Kilo Hikari to Kage no Monogatari (40,000 Kilometers Directly Around the Equator – a Tale of Light and Shadow)” will be broadcast. Before the series begins, on January 13th, the Super Premium “Gurutto Sekido 3-jikan Special (Around the Equator – 3-hour Special)” will be broadcast. The program will introduce the culture and lifestyles of the various countries of the equatorial region from various angles and use drones to film the landscapes. It will also take an in-depth look at the fishermen who catch fish by walking on the sea bed, those who climb trees tens of meters high to gather fruit, as well as those who are raised and live in the great outdoors. In addition, it will focus on the problems facing the countries of the equatorial region. The program will also feature a link from the International Space Station, from where astronaut Norishige Kanai will talk about seeing the equator from space. The narrators will be George Tokoro and Ayako Kato. People from the 13 countries featured in the series will be invited to the studio for the three-hour live program.

  • “Kinashi Bunka Shisetsu-dan Cuba e Iku! (Kinashi’s Culture Delegation Goes to Cuba!)”

    (Comments by Yasuhiro Kan)

    On BS Premium on January 31st, “Kinashi Bunka Shisetsu-dan Cuba e Iku! (Kinashi’s Culture Delegation Goes to Cuba!)” will be broadcast. Noritake Kinashi of the comedy duo Tunnels, who is also active in art and filmmaking, is currently more interested in Cuba than any other country in the world. Forming the ‘Culture Delegation’ by themselves, Kinashi and his friend Fumiya Fujii visit Cuba. Kinashi paints a classic car, while Fujii visits a storied live music venue to jam with local musicians. The program will follow the two friends’ big adventure as they explore world heritage sites, culture, art, music and show the true faces of the local people in a journey filled with humanity.