NHK President


Summary of Press Conference (September, 2018)

  • On the response to the magnitude 6.7 earthquake which struck Hokkaido

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda, President)

    In the early hours of the morning on September 6th, an earthquake that measured magnitude 6.7 occurred in Hokkaido. There was very serious damage, causing fatalities and leaving people missing. Firstly, I would like to offer our sincere sympathy to those people affected by the disaster.
    In addition, Typhoon 21 (Jebi) was the strongest to make landfall in 25 years, flooding Kansai International Airport and damaging the bridge that connects it to the mainland, bringing widespread destruction centered on the Kansai region. We offer our deepest condolences for those who lost their lives, and their families, and our sympathy to those affected by the damage.
    For NHK, our viewers are looking for accurate and timely information at times of emergencies that could have a major impact on their lives and livelihoods. As a public broadcaster, we are ready to answer that call by delivering accurate, easy to understand information as quickly as possible.
    When the earthquake struck Hokkaido, immediately after the emergency earthquake warning was issued at 3:08 a.m. NHK switched all seven channels – four television and three radio – to disaster reporting. In addition, the English language international television channel NHK WORLD JAPAN switched to special news programming, the audio of which was broadcast on Radio 2 as well, so that foreign people in Japan could also access disaster information. On General TV, programs such as the morning serial drama and "Asaichi" variety show were cancelled and disaster reporting continued. There were power outages across a wide area due to the earthquake, so for those people who were unable to watch television, simultaneous broadcasts were provided on the online NHK NEWS WEB site and the News and Disaster Prevention App, as well as on the radio. All available channels were used to broadcast in order to strengthen the delivery of information. We put all of our efforts into providing for those affected by the disaster, information on the situation regarding damage, vital services and infrastructure, even sending additional crews and equipment from Tokyo. Going forward, we are making efforts to reduce as much as possible any secondary damage that could be caused by the earthquake by reporting on the situation.

  • On the second (draft) report of the “Committee on The Various Issues Surrounding Broadcasting”

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    In July, the Committee on The Various Issues Surrounding Broadcasting under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication issued the draft of the second report, which we received. I will explain the main points we are now examining. Firstly, in regard to the constant simultaneous broadcast on television and via the internet, our basic position was laid out as follows in response to the gathering of opinions by the committee. The committee has acknowledged NHK's request on the establishment of 'constant simultaneous broadcasting' as having 'a certain level of rationality and validity', and we will move forward with our preparations while gaining the understanding of viewers and citizens. As a public broadcaster, NHK will hold on to its independence and autonomy, while being suitably conscious of the fact we are supported by the receiving fees paid by viewers. And even in the age of the convergence of broadcasting and the internet, we will move forward with measures to comprehensively fulfil our role as a 'core component of social infrastructure'.
    That is a summary of the opinions we submitted.
    In terms of providing a constant simultaneous broadcasting service, last year on September 20th at the 'committee to examine various issues' we explained our fundamental position including that we regard simultaneous broadcasting via internet as complementary to television broadcasts. Given that the draft report also acknowledged the rationale of the existence of a catch-up service, we are now thoroughly examining the specifics of the service, including how to maintain its compatibility with the existing fee-based NHK On Demand service. Also, we plan to take appropriate measures to address the issues including looking again at how to operate on the internet, how to 'maintain transparency' and 'working and cooperating with other organizations'. As part of that, in terms of our relationship with the commercial broadcasters, the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association in July established a 'committee to examine the question of enhancing the value of broadcasting and its future form', which looked at maintaining the dual system of public (NHK) and commercial broadcasters, and the areas in which we can cooperate. There are more than a few areas of common interest, such as the management of rights issues around simultaneous television and internet broadcasts. I think we will continue to examine the various possibilities for cooperation that arise as we maintain the dual system of public and commercial broadcasters we have fostered, even as we move into the era of the convergence of broadcasting and the internet. In terms of securing the trust of citizens and viewers, we are continuing to move forward with measures to improve governance as various issues arise. On the other hand, there are limits to the resources for budget, personnel etc. Because of that, in order to use even more efficiently the funds that come from the receiving fees paid by our viewers, a committee to promote management reform was established in April containing all members of the board, and it is currently moving ahead with reforms on a group-wide basis. Moving forward, we plan to continue to examine our existing management thoroughly, ascertaining the scope and breadth of our operations, evaluate costs and promote a sustainable management structure.

    Related question:
    Q: How will you work and cooperate with the commercial broadcasters?
    A: In terms of issues such as the management of rights issues around simultaneous television and internet broadcasts, there are more than a few areas of common interest. I think even as we move into the era of the convergence of broadcasting and the internet, we will continue to examine the various possibilities for cooperation that arise as we maintain the dual system of public and commercial broadcasters which we have fostered. Regarding that, we are currently exchanging opinions freely with the main Tokyo-based commercial broadcasters on the issues surrounding the areas where we can cooperate.

  • Producing Super Hi-Vision (SHV) images of the Hayabusa2 mission

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    Hayabusa2, an asteroid explorer spacecraft of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), has rendezvoused with the Ryugu asteroid and the first landing is scheduled for late October. JAXA and NHK are carrying out a joint research project to produce Super Hi-Vision images of the Hayabusa2 mission from actual numerical data. Using NHK's 3D CG technology, the actual environment of the mission can be quickly replicated in video images. The heavy data of raw video images can't be sent across 300 million kilometers from deep space, but vivid Super Hi-Vision CG images can now be produced and shown to viewers. The images are scheduled to be broadcast on an “NHK Special” and other programs.

  • On the 45th Japan Prize

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    The 45th Japan Prize will take place over eight days from November 2nd to 9th at the NHK Broadcasting Center in Shibuya, Tokyo. The Japan Prize is an international contest which has for over 50 years been dedicated to educational media content. This year, 378 entries were received from 65 countries and regions. In the “Audiovisual Division,” which includes programs, websites and games, 55 entries in five categories have been selected through preliminary judging. Meanwhile, in the "TV Proposal Division," which provides support for planned projects from countries and regions with limited budgets and technical equipment, five finalists among entries from Argentina, Jamaica, Mongolia and others have been selected. The final judging, which will be carried out by 12 experts from television networks and educational media from around the world, will take place on November 9th, with prizes awarded in the various categories, as well as the Grand Prix winner.

  • On the business performance for the second period of the current fiscal year

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    The number of receiving contracts increased by 359,000, which represents 83.5% of our annual target of 430,000 new contracts. The number of satellite contracts has increased by 294,000, which represents 50.7% of our annual target of 580,000 new contracts. The number of both receiving contracts and satellite contracts increased and firm progress is being made. Moving forward, we will make the utmost effort to ensure we reach our goals.