NHK President


Summary of Press Conference (January, 2019)

  • On the New Year

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda, President)

    This year will see the end of the Heisei era, and for NHK it will also be a year that represents a major turning point. One element of that is the reduction in the receiving fee level. In November last year, the Board of Governors gave its approval for the amendment to the current corporate plan which reduces the level of the receiving fees by approximately 4.5%, as proposed by the Executive Board. Although combined with the measures to reduce the burden of receiving fees, which have been partly implemented already, the total amount to be returned comes to 42.2 billion yen, the annual surplus has never exceeded 40 billion yen. This means that in the light of this receiving fee reduction, we will be prepared to face a deficit for the time being.

    Another element is the simultaneous internet streaming of television broadcasts. Last year, the report from the 'Committee on The Various Issues Surrounding Broadcasting' at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications found that simultaneous online broadcasting was basically valid and rational; also the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan's sub-committee of the 'Strategy Committee on Communications' drew up a proposal with the aim of submitting an amendment to the Broadcast Law during the regular session of this year's parliament. We will do our utmost to gain the understanding of viewers and citizens as we work toward the revision of the Broadcast Law.

    Operating within the bounds of our budget and personnel in order to realize a 'public media', we need to accelerate the three operational reforms of ‘work style staffing reforms’, ‘local reforms’ and ‘group management reforms’ by making effective use of the resources at our disposal. In my New Year greeting to staff, I introduced one of my favorite haiku, of which I am reminded at the year-end and beginning of the year period. Written by Kyoshi Takahama, the famous haiku goes 'At the end and the start of the year, the moment like a rod lying across the two'. Just like that haiku, lying ahead is the need to deal with new challenges, and conversely, the need to continue with our fundamental work; I intend to face the tasks ahead with both of these mindsets.

    I became president of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) last year, and the first General Assembly since I took over the position will be held in Tokyo in November. Utilizing this opportunity, I hope to raise the international presence of NHK.

    On the 25th of this month, I will begin my third year as president of NHK. The first year was one that I marked as 'identifying problems and formulating the corporate plan', while the second year was ‘implementing the solutions for the identified problems'. This year, the third, I want to make one of 'cementing the measures that have been taken so far'. I ask you for your support once again this year.

  • On the special program to mark the 100th morning serial drama

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    "Natsuzora (The Summer Sky)" will be the 100th production of the morning serial dramas, which viewers affectionately refer to as 'asa-dora (morning-drama)', when it begins broadcasting in April.
    When the 'aso-dora' began in April of 1961, it created the viewing habit of 'watching drama in the morning'. From 1966's "Ohanahan", which was the first morning serial drama that told the whole life story of a woman, to 1983's all-time viewing figures record-holder "Oshin", through to "Ama-chan", which was watched by a wide age range and made a splash on social media, 'asa-dora' have been part of people's lives for more than half a century.
    Before the start of "Natsuzora", the 100th series, on General TV on March 29 th, "Anata no Asa-dora Dai-Tokushu (Your Morning Drama – Special Feature) will be broadcast. The program will be presented by Takashi Okamura and Chiko-chan from “Chiko-chan ni Shikarareru! (Don’t Sleep Through Life!)”. Guests are set to include the heroines from various 'asa-dora'.
    The program will feature the results of a poll taken on a dedicated website "Anata no Ichioshi asa-dora (Your Favorite Morning Drama)" and episodes related to the morning serial dramas, as well as looking at them from a variety of angles. In addition, an outline of all 100 series, including "Natsuzora" will be presented, along with digest clips of each series. I hope viewers will enjoy a nostalgic stroll through the history of 'asa-dora'.

  • A World First! On footage shot in 8K more than 1,000 meters under the sea

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    On BS8K in February, programming concentrated on the theme of 'nature and spectacular scenery' will be delivered. On February 10th, "Shinkai no Dai Zekkei Sekai-hatsu! 8K ga Mita Kaitei 1300m no Hikyo (Spectacular Scenery of the Deep Sea – A World First! The Unexplored Seabed at 1,300 Metres as Seen in 8K)" will be broadcast.
    Shooting in 8K deep under the seas is something that NHK has been conducting research on in cooperation with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) for the past four years. Shooting on the seabed around the Ogasawara Islands, the fine details of deep-sea creatures and their environment was successfully captured in the ultra-high-definition that only 8K can deliver.
    An event designed to promote 8K will also be held. The New Year Grand Sumo Tournament, which begins on January 13th, will be shown at a public viewing at the NHK Fureai Hall in Tokyo's Shibuya. As part of that, on the 26th and 27th, before the sumo is shown, a screening of the 8K Classic Theater's "Sekai Sandai Orchestra no Hibiki (The Sound of the World's Three Great Orchestras)" is scheduled to take place.

  • On the 48th Program Production Technology Exhibition

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    This year will be the 48th edition of the NHK Program Production Technology Exhibition, which will take place next month. On display will be equipment developed by NHK engineers from around the country, which was born out of the ideas and know-how of people who produce programs and broadcasts, as well as new systems to support program production and emergency information delivery.
    The exhibition this year will also include the AI (artificial intelligence) -based system which can create short promotional videos from reports that have been broadcast; a video stream compositing system which does away with the need for what is known as Chroma Key green or blue background sets, and that can also be used for shooting outside; the actual equipment and 8K camera systems used in creating the "Shinkai no Dai Zekkei (Spectacular Scenery of the Deep Sea)" 8K program.
    The Program Production Technology Exhibition will be open from the 11th to the 13th of February at the NHK Broadcasting Center in Shibuya.