Comments from the Top (NHK President)

Summary of Press Conference (September, 2020)

  • On the 71st NHK Kohaku Utagassen (Red-and-White Year-End Song Festival)

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu, President)

    This year, the 71st Kohaku Utagassen will take place without an audience at the NHK Hall. We are sorry to disappoint all the people who were looking forward to attending the show. Preventing the spread of the new coronavirus is our top priority, and we hope everyone will understand. We will take measures to prevent the risk of infection among performers and staff, such as keeping social distance. We plan to make various changes to performances and other elements of the show so that viewers will enjoy a new style of Kohaku Utagassen. The show will be broadcast live from 7.30p.m. until 11.45p.m. on December 31st. We hope this will be a memorable Kohaku Utagassen for everyone.

  • On the cut in the level of the receiving fees from October

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    As previously announced, the level of receiving fees for terrestrial and satellite contracts will be reduced by 2.5% from October. This cut represents a return of 19.3 billion yen in annual terms to our viewers.
    We have already implemented a number of measures for reducing the receiving fees as announced in the current three-year corporate plan. We kept the fees unchanged when the consumption tax rate was raised from 8% to 10% last October. This means that, the amount people pay for terrestrial and satellite contracts was cut by 2%. We have also implemented four measures aimed at easing the burden of the receiving fees on some viewers. They include expanding the scope of fee exemptions for social welfare facilities, exemptions for students from low-income families, discounts for multiple contracts, and a waiver for the month a new TV set is installed.
    All these reductions and measures will amount to 42.2 billion yen on an annual basis. That’s 6% of the receiving fee income in FY 2018.
    Going forward, we will continue to carefully explain our role as a public service broadcaster and the receiving fee system to all our viewers and the public.

    Communications Minister Takaichi Sanae has talked about cuts in the receiving fees. Are you considering further reductions?

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    We are well aware that reductions are good… but the challenge is how we can cut receiving fees without damaging the quality of our services. We are currently pushing ahead with cost structure reforms, and if we create a situation where cuts to the receiving fees are possible, we should do it. At this point in time, we first want to thoroughly carry out the reforms.

  • On setting up a hotline to take claims from the private sector

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    Some people have pointed out that the private sector has experienced unfair competition from NHK and its affiliates. We already have a point of contact for people to report such claims, but to receive more specific information, we have set up a hotline dedicated to this issue. It launches today, September 10th. People can contact us by telephone or email, and we will confirm the facts and respond appropriately and quickly.

    Have there been reports in the past from private firms claiming unfair competition?

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    No, that hasn’t happened. There were no such claims reported through the system we already had in place, but I’ve seen editorials that say NHK has an unfair competitive advantage. Ever since I have assumed my position at NHK, I have asked that companies get in touch with us if they are experiencing any problems, but it seemed like people were finding it difficult to find our point of contact. That’s why we have created the hotline.

    Can people make a call or send an email anonymously?

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    Yes, of course. But, we would appreciate it if people tell us their names so that we would be able to respond. We won’t reveal the names of people that contact the hotline.

  • On the 4K and 8K cameras that will be installed on the Mars exploration probe

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NHK have decided to jointly develop a “Super Hi-Vision Camera” capable of filming 4K and 8K images in space. It will be installed on JAXA’s MMX spacecraft and record images of Mars and its moons. We will use the images to visualize the actual behaviour of the spacecraft. In addition, BS4K and BS8K will broadcast programs on the theme “Space” during October.