NHK President


Summary of Press Conference (May, 2017)

  • On the changes in the Executive Board

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda, President)

    On April 25th there were some changes among management positions and the new Executive Board began its work. The new Executive Board will focus on progressing as a public media that meets the demands of the era of the convergence of broadcasting and communications, achieving the highest standards of broadcasting and services as we approach the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, by strengthening our management structure, from the standpoint of having the most appropriate person in each position. In addition, as we think there is a need to improve our regional broadcasting and services more, it has been decided to establish a ‘Regional Reform Project’ and a new executive responsible has been appointed. Despite the fact that the situation and issues vary region to region, we recognize the fact that the management structure of each stations are uniform. So we would like the management structure of each region to reflect their particular characteristics in order to help stimulate the local area.
    The new Chief of Engineering and Executive Director Akihiko Chigono, who has been appointed to the new Executive Board, had previously been director of Broadcast Engineering Department and Engineering Administration Department, as well as president of NHK affiliated organization NHK Media Technology, Inc. As to promote the advancement of 4K & 8K Super Hi-Vision and internet services, he is the right personnel who has rich technological expertise, and also possesses strong management capabilities. New Senior Director Yasuhiro Kan comes from the Program Production Department and was involved in numerous dramas, including “Saka no Ue no Kumo (Clouds Over the Hill)". Before his appointment, he worked as director of the Corporate Planning Department, where he dealt with all aspects of corporate issues. We would like him to bring to bear all his management experience in supporting the Director General of Broadcasting and supervising program production. New Senior Director Hiroyuki Nakata was originally a director of news programs and spent the last three years as a director of the Sapporo Broadcasting Station. During that time he acted as a leader for the six regional stations in Hokkaido and worked at consolidating management at the Sapporo Station. He will be responsible for overseeing compliance, public relations and the Regional Reform Project, where we would like him to use all his knowledge and expertise. Reappointed as an Executive Director, Tadanobu Sakamoto will continue overseeing corporate planning and internet services, including simultaneous broadcasts on television and online, and the development of the next corporate plan, as well as acting as the point of contact with the commercial broadcasters, with whom we hope he will continue to develop mutual understanding. The role of other executives will remain essentially unchanged. The management challenges facing the NHK are immediate and the scope of the executives’ responsibilities is too great for them to deal with effectively. In addition, the ‘Committee to Examine the Receiving Fee System’ is looking at concrete measures to create a fee system appropriate for the era of the convergence of broadcasting and communications. Based on the findings of the committee, the next NHK Corporate Plan, which can be viewed as a work schedule to address the various management issues faced, must be completed urgently. We will move management forward with NHK’s staff sharing information and knowledge in order to keep in mind ‘consensus management’ while maintaining a sense of urgency.

  • On the provisional results for the last fiscal year

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    Overall income increased by 5.6 billion to 707.3 billion yen, creating a surplus of 28 billion yen. Receiving fees amounted to 676.9 billion yen and an increase in income above our forecast was achieved. Overall, in terms of domestic and international broadcasting, covering the Rio de Janeiro Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as delivering disaster information related to the Kumamoto earthquakes, we properly fulfilled our role as a public broadcaster. In the meantime, we also executed efficient business performance and moved ahead with our operational reforms, including with the ‘Target 80’ goal of an 80% receiving fee payment rate. I think we have recorded a good set of results as in the second year of our Three-year Corporate Plan.
    The total number of receiving contracts has increased by 514,000 and the number of satellite contracts has increased by 693,000, meaning that we achieved our business performance targets for the last fiscal year in both categories. Based on this, we achieved 1.5 points increase in the receiving fee payment rate over the previous year to 78.7% and an increase in the number of viewers having signed satellite contracts of 1.1 points to 50.1%. In the current fiscal year, which will be the third year of the corporate plan, we will put our utmost effort into achieving targets of an increase of 500,000 receiving fee contracts in total, 600,000 satellite contracts and an 80% payment rate, as well as 51% of viewers signing satellite contracts, which would be above the target in our corporate plan.

  • Q&A Session

    Q: On the figures that were indicated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication last month on the estimated cost of simultaneous broadcasts on television and online
    A: (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)
    I am aware of the preliminary calculations announced by the expert panel from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication about the cost of broadcasters providing internet services. With regards to the simultaneous broadcasts on television and online, the legal framework has yet to be established, and while examining the situation and environment, as well as listening to the opinions of viewers, we intend to move forward with reviewing the issue. Because there was an article in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper that from our point of view contained inaccuracies, in order to set the record straight, I would like to lay out our position here. In the article, it was written that the figures indicated by the Minstry of Internal Affairs and Communication for the cost of initial investment for each broadcasting company was only 1.5% of what NHK had expected. However, there is no such fact that NHK made the calculation at the initial investment as 5 billion yen in the first place. In terms of the amount of initial investment, NHK explained to the investigating committee at the ministry last year that the cost could be in the billions of yen. But that referred to the total initial cost in an assumption in which all of the programs from all of the NHK broadcasting stations across the country, including General and Educational TV, a total of more than 100 channels, were all to begin simultaneous broadcasts. Regardless of that, the article simply compared the figures issued by the ministry for one channel with the cost for more than 100 channels. The figures indicated by the ministry and NHK’s figures are not significantly different when the figures of NHK, for more than 100 channels, are divided into one channel. I gave this explanation since the article could give the impression that NHK was excessively overestimating costs. As the legal framework regarding simultaneous broadcasting has yet to be established, in terms of the actual expenditure required, we are not at the stage where that can be announced. Whatever the situation may be, we will be working to keep expenditures as low as possible.

    Q: On the first month’s broadcast of the morning serial drama ‘Hiyokko’
    A: (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)
    I am watching it every day and I think the quality of the program is excellent. As it is set in a period that I lived through, it is a nostalgic experience, allowing me to relive those times. I am fond of the program’s opening, where the theme music of Keisuke Kuwata’s ‘Wakai Hiroba (square of youth)’ is, in my personal opinion, a light and refreshing melody that makes for a perfect start to the day. The miniature figures that are used have also captured my attention and I find it fascinating. The more you watch it, the more it reveals and I think it has got off to a good start. Although there is talk of whether or not it will achieve viewing figures of 20% or not, in reality, if the people who watch recordings and on demand are included, it is already exceeding that figure. I think the program is being well received.