Comments from the Top (NHK President)

Summary of Press Conference (November, 2020)

  • On broadcasting of BS4K and BS8K channels approaching the two-year mark

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu, President)

    In December, it will be exactly two years since the BS4K and BS8K channels were launched. In that time, programs from a wide range of genres have been broadcast. Many people have watched programs on BS4K, including ”Kohaku Uta Gassen (Red & White Year-end Song Festival)”, the Taiga historical drama “Kirin ga Kuru (Awaiting Kirin)” and the morning serial dramas. And on BS8K, many of our programs offering a new viewing experience have been popular, and dramas such as “Spy no Tsuma (Wife of a Spy)” and “Taiyo no Ko (Gift of Fire)” have been very well received. We are filming national treasures such as important historical and cultural works using 8K technology so that we can broadcast the footage and pass them on to future generations. The technology is also contributing to society as its use spreads out into fields like medicine and education.
    NHK is working to make BS4K and BS8K broadcasts accessible to as many people as possible for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games, scheduled to be held next year. We are also working to deliver a variety of high-quality content that only NHK can create.

    (Comments by the project manager)

    As we mark two years since the start of BS4K and BS8K broadcasts, NHK and five commercial stations will be showing a selection of programs that are highly recommended in December. Meanwhile, from November12th to 15th, there will be an exhibition of the best of 4K and 8K broadcasting at “WITH HARAJUKU HALL” in Tokyo’s Harajuku. The event will feature 8K content on a giant 350-inch screen, a place where visitors can watch a selection of programs, and a helpdesk for how to receive ultra-high-definition broadcasts. Measures for preventing the spread of the new coronavirus will be taken at the venue, so we hope many people will be able to directly experience the power of 4K and 8K broadcasting.
    NHK’s regional stations are also moving ahead with their production of 8K content. A new program “8K Tetsuro Kiko (8K Railway Journeys)” will start in December. It will feature railway lines and stations, providing a look into the beautiful scenery and lives of people who live along the tracks. The program will present the appeal of the local areas in a way that can only be done by the local stations. We will continue to use ultra-high-definition 8K to show the charms of various regions in a range of programs.

  • On the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2020/2021, NHK Trophy

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    The NHK Trophy 2020 will be held from November 27th to 29th in Kadoma City, Osaka. NHK will broadcast the competition on General TV. We will take proper precautions against the spread of the new coronavirus. I hear that many up-and-coming young Japanese skaters will be taking part this year and it will be exciting to see their performances.

    (Comments by the project manager)

    The NHK Trophy is an international figure skating competition held as part of the International Skating Union Grand Prix series. Every year, top skaters from around the world come to Japan to compete but this year, only skaters from Japan, skaters based in Japan, or skaters who have permission to enter Japan, will be able to participate. This is to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. The competition will feature men’s singles, ladies’ singles and ice dance. Competing in the men’s singles will be KAGIYAMA Yuma, the bronze medalist in the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships held in February, and SATO Shun, who won gold in last year’s ISU Junior Grand Prix Final. These two young skaters, who have shown a lot of promise, will be competing for the first time in the NHK Trophy and will be ones to watch this season as they compete in the senior events. In the ladies’ singles, top skaters include SAKAMOTO Kaori and HIGUCHI Wakaba, as well as MIHARA Mai, who returns to the NHK Trophy after missing last season due to health reasons. And You YOUNG of South Korea, who won silver at February’s Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, will be the only overseas skater competing. And in the ice dance competition, TAKAHASHI Daisuke, who won bronze in the men’s singles at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, will partner with MURAMOTO Kana. This will be the much-anticipated first official competition for Takahashi since he switched to ice dance.
    The audience for this year’s competition will be half the usual number, around 3,000 people, and great care will be taken to avoid contact between the filming crew and the audience.
    The competition will be broadcast live on General TV and BS1, and BS8K. In addition, highlights and interviews with skaters will be available on a special website and NHK Sports Twitter. There will also be public screenings of the event in 8K at some of NHK’s local stations.
    This year, many skaters were unable to practice for some time due to the new coronavirus. The NHK Trophy 2020 will be an event where skaters will perform despite challenges and difficulties of the pandemic.

  • On NHK’s Year-End Domestic Charity Campaign and Overseas Charity Drive

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    NHK will hold its regular year-end charity drives from December 1st to 25th. Money raised by the NHK Year-End Domestic Charity Campaign will be used through the Central Community Chest of Japan for welfare facilities and others in need, as well as to help those struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Overseas Charity Drive, in cooperation with the Japanese Red Cross Society, will send aid to war-torn regions, as well as those suffering from natural disasters and diseases.
    This year, NHK will collect donations while taking into account the situation with the spread of the coronavirus across the country. We plan to collect donations at our local stations except those where the buildings are closed to the public. A related program, “Anata no Yasashisa o 2020 (Your Kindness 2020)” will show examples of how the donations are used to support people in Japan and overseas. OKADA Kenshi from the Taiga historical drama “Seiten o Tsuke” will be the presenter of the program. And, people from various fields, including YOSHIZAWA Ryo, the lead actor from “Seiten o Tsuke” and SUGISAKI Hana, the heroine in the new morning serial drama “Ochoyan” which starts on November 30th,will be appearing in TV spots to ask for donations. The coronavirus pandemic has shocked the economy, but we hope everyone will give a helping hand to support each other through these hard times.