NHK President


Summary of Press Conference (April, 2018)

  • On the start of the new fiscal year

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda, President)

    The current fiscal year’s budget was approved unanimously by both houses of the Diet, providing an opportunity for a fresh start to the first year of the three-year NHK Corporate Plan. On April 2nd, an entrance ceremony for new employees of NHK and our group companies was held, at which I encouraged them as those responsible for creating a 'public media' with the words, "Please be resolved in your heart to give it your all at wherever you are working." The PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic games are finished, and it will be just two years until the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. This is an ideal opportunity for us to seize in providing the very highest standards of broadcasting and other services, and in order to move steadfastly on the road to evolve as a Public Service Media provider, I want our staff to come together as one. The programs for the new fiscal year got off to a good start this week from April 2nd. The morning serial drama "Hanbun, Aoi." is set in the half century from the end of the period of rapid economic growth until the present day, featuring Mei Nagano in the lead role of a character who is not afraid of failure. I am looking forward to watching her character develop. On General TV, also from the 2nd, "Asa-ichi" also got off to a good start with new presenters in the form of duo Hakata Hanamaru Daikichi and announcer Yurie Omi. In terms of international broadcasting, from April, NHK WORLD has been rebranded NHK WORLD JAPAN. Delivering a Japanese perspective, it will also provide information about Asia and trustworthy news programming. In addition, detailed reports will be delivered about what overseas visitors to Japan found impressive about various places from all over the country.
    This year will be the first year for 4K and 8K (Super Hi-Vision), working toward launching services in December, development of appealing ultra-high-definition content is moving ahead. And beginning with the FIFA World Cup that will take place in June, and I think there will be various opportunities that we have to properly seize in order for knowledge and awareness of 4K and 8K to increase and the format to spread.
    And in terms of the business side, our new plan to raise the receiving fee payment rate by one point every year has begun. But taking into account the decision of the Supreme Court last year, we will work to explain thoroughly our role as a public broadcaster and the reasons for the receiving fee system to all our viewers, as well as make appropriated efforts to gain the trust of citizens and ensure the burden of the receiving fees is shared fairly.
    Recently, there has been much debate about the role of broadcasting. From NHK's perspective, the most crucial aims for NHK in the dual system of public and commercial broadcasters, which has supported broadcasting culture, to be to pursue public values such as “Provide accurate, fair, impartial information”, “Promote safety and security”, and “Create high-quality cultural experiences”, and fulfill its role as a core component of social infrastructure, fully responding to our viewers’ expectations. In order to achieve these aims, NHK will also implement measures including ‘work style staffing reforms’, ‘local reforms’ and ‘group management reforms’ as we work toward realizing our ‘progression to a public service media’ with a strong will to carry through creative and efficient management.

  • Looking back on the broadcasting of the PyeongChang Paralympic Games

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    For the PyeongChang Paralympics that took place in March, NHK broadcast live coverage of events nearly every day on General TV and BS1, a first for NHK for a Winter Paralympics. In addition, with the aim of allowing those with or without impairments to enjoy the events together, 'Universal Broadcasting' was delivered, with approximately 13.5 hours of coverage of Alpen skiing and snowboarding featuring information about the onscreen action provided on the audio sub channel, a first for either the Summer or Winter Games. Highlight programs featuring sign language and subtitled commentary were also broadcast. The total length of broadcasts of the PyeongChang Paralympics was, at around 79 hours, more than double that of the Sochi Games and the longest overall broadcasting of a Winter Paralympics. The three people with impairments who were chosen as reporters covered the Games on the ground and appeared on programs broadcast from PyeongChang. It has been decided that the three reporters will continue to work for NHK on various programs as reporters, including those in genres other than sports.
    In addition, internet-based services, including a dedicated website and smartphone app that delivered footage of events, live programming and catch-up videos, were provided. We intend to move forward with the aim of providing even better services for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

  • On prospects of NHK's business performance in the last fiscal year

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    The total number of receiving contracts is expected to have increased by 756,000, which would represent 151.2% of the annual target of 500,000. The number of satellite contracts is expected to be increased by 764,000, which would be 127.3% of the annual target of 600,000. The system of home visits by personnel is working well, along with the decision in December last year by the Supreme Court on the receiving fee system, have led to an increase in people signing contracts to pay of their own accord, which I think is linked to the exceeding of our annual targets. Going forward, we will continue to properly explain to our viewers and listeners our role as a public broadcaster and the receiving fee system.

  • On the 2018 Open House at the NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    For four days, from May 24th to 27th, the Open House at the NHK Science and Technology Research Laboratories in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, will introduce NHK's latest research advances. This year's theme will be “More real, more smart: connecting with you” and the exhibition will feature how AI was used to analyze and naturally color around 20,000 of NHK's black and white programs among the 24 displays of research.

  • On the government's regulatory reform promotion council deliberation on reforming the broadcasting laws

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    As the details of what is being deliberated have not been confirmed, at this stage I would like to refrain from commenting. Talking in general terms, for example, Clause 4 of the Broadcast Law, which stipulates political neutrality and that the fact should not be bent, is I think something that news and other programming should uphold. NHK's broadcast guidelines state that we should maintain independence and autonomy, along with being accurate, fair and balanced. I think we will continue to broadcast news and other programs with the responsibility for their content that we have until now.

    In Japan, I believe that under the Broadcast Law, the dual system of public and commercial broadcasters - with NHK as a public broadcaster funded mostly by the receiving fee system and commercial broadcasters funded largely by advertising revenue - has supported the development of broadcasting culture. I think the decision of the grand bench of the Supreme Court in December last year on the case involving the non-payment of receiving fees recognized importance of 'dual system of public and commercial broadcasters'. Based on the 'dual system' of public and commercial broadcasters, we aim to help to contribute to fulfill the right of citizens to know, develop a fully functioning democracy, and improve culture.