NHK President


Summary of Press Conference (October, 2018)

  • On a reduction in the receiving fees and other issues

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda, President)

    On the 27th of last month at the ‘Committee on The Various Issues Surrounding Broadcasting’ held by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications I spoke about this and our basic stance on constant simultaneous online broadcasting, which I will explain again now.
    First is why NHK wants to deliver constant simultaneous online broadcasting. In line with NHK’s vision, as laid out in our corporate plan, even as use of the internet expands and the ways viewers access information continues to change, for NHK, broadcasting will remain a central pillar, while we will also utilize the internet, and fulfill our role as a trusted 'core component of social infrastructure'.
    In order to realize this, we would like to deliver constant simultaneous broadcasting via the internet as complementary to television broadcasts, as a means of increasing the ways that viewers can access our content.
    Particularly with the occurrence of the recent earthquakes in Osaka and Hokkaido, along with the typhoon and torrential rains, we once again felt conscious of our role and responsibility as a public broadcaster and that we should create an environment in which we always deliver via constant simultaneous online broadcasts the kind of important information for all our viewers' safety and peace of mind that we did during that time.
    In terms of the costs of internet services, including constant simultaneous broadcasts, I also realize it is important that we are conscious of how we set limits as to the maximum expenditure. We will properly explain the appropriateness of expenses, including how we maintain transparency of accounting. In addition, in terms of our relationship with the commercial networks, there is no change in our position of continuing to maintain the dual system of public and commercial broadcasters we have fostered, working together and cooperating, even as we move into the era of the convergence of broadcasting and the internet.
    And I will explain my thinking as to the receiving fee level and system. From my perspective, taking into consideration our mid-term fiscal forecasts, as well as the intention to return funds laid out in our corporate plan, I would like to implement a reduction in the level of the receiving fees. In terms of how to implement a reduction and its size, its timing and other matters, we are working with urgency on the Executive Board, with me taking the lead, to thoroughly discuss with the Board of Governors so that we will be able to reach a conclusion which we can announce by the end of the year.
    In addition, with full broadcasting of 4K and 8K beginning on December 1st, we will examine the situation of the future of the other satellite channels in light of how widespread the uptake of 4K becomes. We will take a look at reorganization or reduction of channels after broadcasts have run for a year and we plan to announce our intentions then. We will move forward with our analysis taking fully into account the opinions of our viewers.
    Even during times of major change, I firmly believe that NHK must move forward while fully taking into account the expectations and demands of viewers with regards to the various issues we face.

  • On the appointment as president of the ABU and attending the PBI Conference

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    Over two days this month on the 4th and 5th, the ABU (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union) General Assembly was held in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, at which I was elected president. With new media emerging all the time due to the spread of the internet, the broadcasting industry is facing a period of historic change. Developing new strategies to adapt to this changing landscape is a common challenge facing the member broadcast networks of the ABU. While listening carefully to the opinions and hopes of the more than 270 members from 73 countries and regions, I wish to earnestly fulfil my duties to the best of my abilities.
    The next General Assembly will be held in November in Tokyo. The theme of the meeting is scheduled to be “Building Trust; Enriching Audience Experience”. As the host broadcaster, NHK is preparing from now in order to ensure the General Assembly is a success.
    In addition, for three days this month from the 23rd, I am due to attend the Public Broadcasters International annual conference in the South Korean capital of Seoul. I am scheduled to deliver the keynote speech on the topics of NHK's efforts to meet the needs of viewers anytime, anywhere, as well as be a 'core component of social infrastructure' and our‘progression toward a public service media’. I understand that the director general of the BBC Tony Hall and other heads of public broadcasters from various countries will be attending the conference. Through exchanging opinions and information at the event, I intend to learn about the latest initiatives of various countries and raise the international presence of NHK.

  • On the special 4K and 8K programs to mark one month before broadcasting begins

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    Programs to mark the launch of the channels will showcase all the power of 4K and 8K when they are broadcast on General TV on November 1st, exactly a month before the beginning of the new channels. Footage from the first historical taiga drama to be produced entirely in 4K "Idaten Tokyo Olympic Banashi" along with a 'making of' feature, will be unveiled. In addition, footage from programs scheduled for BS8K, including "Sekai Sandai Orchestra no Hibiki (The Sound of the World's Three Great Orchestras)" and of performances from the leading Japanese theater group the Takarazuka Revue will be shown using the world's highest quality images and sound in productions that can only be created in 8K, allowing studio guests to experience them. The program which will broadcast in 4K from the South Pole for two days from the launch of the channels will also be featured. The lives of wild animals, the beauty of the interwoven landscape of glaciers and icebergs, and more besides, will be portrayed in this footage, the world's first 4K live broadcasts from the South Pole. The basic information about 4K and 8K, along with how to watch them, will also be presented in an easy to understand manner. The hosts will be Yoshimi Tokui from comedy duo Tutorial and announcer Yuka Kubota. Special guests are also being invited to commemorate the launch of the new channels. The program will be broadcast from 7.30 p.m. on November 1st.

  • On the plan for the 20th anniversary of ‘Domo-kun’

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    We are moving toward the 20th anniversary of the creation of the NHK mascot character ‘Domo-kun’ on December 22nd. Originally created as the character for the BS channels, from 2004 it became the character for all of NHK, becoming active not only domestically, but also overseas. For the commemoration of this 20-year anniversary, a special plan to say ‘arigato (thank you)’ to all our viewers from Domo-kun has been developed. A 20-year special video “Domo Arigato” featuring a mix of live-action and stop motion animation has been produced. The live-action Domo-kun will be played by Mahiro Takasugi, while the theme song “Domo Arigato” was written by singer Noriyuki Makihara, who will also perform it. The video will be available on the NHK homepage from the 16th of this month and will also be broadcast at various times. There will also be special events at the NHK Studio Park, which will begin on December 16th and continue for two months. Footage and images looking back at 20 years of Domo-kun, along with games and works related to the character will be available to enjoy.

  • On the outlook for expected business performance in the third period of the current fiscal year

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    In the third period of the current fiscal year the number of total receiving contracts is set to increase by 504,000, which would represent 117.2% of our annual target of 430,000. The number of satellite contracts is set to increase by 413,000, which would represent 71.3% of our annual target of 580,000. Moving forward, as part of NHK’s mission to ensure the burden of the receiving fees is shared equally, we will continue to thoroughly explain our role as a public broadcaster and receiving fee system as we continue to work to increase the payment rate.