Comments from the Top (NHK President)

Summary of Press Conference (March, 2021)

  • On the 10th year since the Great East Japan Earthquake

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu, President)

    We are approaching 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Since January, NHK has been using the slogan “Ano hi, soshite ashita e – sore-zore no 3654-nichi (*tentative translation: On That Day, and Towards Tomorrow – the 3,654 Days of Each Person)” for the broadcasts of various programs related to the disaster. On March 11th, there will be special feature programs broadcast on NHK’s channels. “News 7” will broadcast an extended edition until 8.45 p.m., which will feature footage we have accumulated since the disaster, testimonies from survivors and lessons and challenges from the nuclear accident. The news programs “Ohayo Nippon” and “News Watch 9” will examine the past and look how the affected areas can move forward into the future.
    On Radio1 and FM Radio, there will be live feature programs.
    And on the dedicated “Higashi Nihon Dai Shinsai ano hi kara 10-nen” section of the ‘NHK NEWS WEB’ site, a wide variety of related content will be available.
    From March 6th to 14th, there will be eight “NHK Special” programs. The programs will show that while people are working to rebuild their lives and livelihoods from this unprecedented disaster, the reality of the recovery process is not progressing smoothly as expected.
    In addition, NHK and the five key Japanese commercial networks are working together on a disaster prevention project. On March 14th, NHK will broadcast “Ashita no Inochi o Mamoritai”, which brings together reporters from NHK and the commercial networks who covered the disaster to discuss what we can do to protect lives.
    Last month, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck northeastern Japan. We never know when a disaster will strike. NHK will continue to report on disaster prevention and mitigation based on experience it has accumulated during these 10 years in order to “save lives and livelihoods.”

  • On one year since the start of NHK Plus

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    The continuous simultaneous online streaming and program catch-up service NHK Plus launched in April last year after a trial run from March 1st. During the first year, people have used it as a service that allows them to access NHK content anytime, anywhere. As of the end of February, approximately 1.51 million applications to register have been made, with around 1.22 million registrations completed. Viewers have accessed content on NHK Plus including the year-end music program “NHK Kohaku Utagassen”, news programs, the Taiga historical drama and the morning serial drama. I would like to again express our gratitude once again to the rights holders for their understanding, which has enabled us to deliver many programs. Going forward, we will continue to carefully explain the significance of the service and work to deliver even more programs through it. We have received feedback from NHK Plus users that it’s convenient to watch programs while they were out or forgot to record them. We will continue to work to improve the service to make NHK content available to more people.
    And, until now, NHK Plus has streamed programs which were broadcast in the south Kanto region (around Tokyo), but from March 3rd, a catch-up service for programs from the NHK regional stations has started.

    (Comments from the project manager)

    We have been receiving feedback from users that they want to watch programs from the area they live in or from their hometowns. So, from March 3rd, we started a service to stream some of the programs which are broadcast locally, but not nationwide. For the time being, we will be offering mainly the programs broadcast on Friday at 7.30 p.m. by the regional headquarters. In the future, as we keep working on the service, we plan to gradually increase the number of programs available. Specifically, we would like to distribute programs broadcast by the local stations at 7.30 p.m. on Fridays, as well as the 6 p.m. news programs of some regional headquarters. We believe that by distributing programs that are broadcast locally will not only let people around the country know about the appeals of Japan’s regions, but also help viewers find solutions to their local issues by sharing various efforts being taken in different regions.

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    NHK will broadcast a variety of programs to mark the 10th year since the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11th, and on NHK Plus there will be a playlist of programs related to the disaster.
    And from April, the simultaneous streaming will be expanded by an hour, to run for about 19 hours each day from 5 a.m. until midnight. We hope that even more people will use the NHK Plus service.

  • On the 72nd NHK Broadcasting Culture Awards

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    The recipients of the 72nd NHK Broadcast Culture Awards have been decided. The awards were established in 1949 and are given to those who have contributed the development of the broadcasting business and the improvement of broadcasting culture. The selection committee listened to the opinions of experts in deciding the recipients. This year, there will be seven recipients. The chairperson of the committee, who is the Executive Vice President of NHK, will introduce them.

    (Comments by MASAGAKI Satoru, Executive Vice President)

    I will introduce the recipients in alphabetical (Japanese) order.
    Scriptwriter OISHI Shizuka has written scripts for television dramas including the Taiga historical drama “Komyo ga Tsuji”. Her works depict the depths of human nature and continue to capture the hearts of viewers.
    Actor KITAOJI Kinya has played major roles in nine Taiga historical dramas for more than half a century. Starting with “Ryoma ga Yuku” in 1968 in which he starred as SAKAMOTO Ryoma, he now appears in this year’s “Seiten o Tsuke” or “Reach Beyond the Blue Sky”.
    KITANOFUJI Katsuaki is an exclusive commentator for NHK’s live sumo broadcasts. As a former yokozuna grand champion sumo wrestler, his comments on techniques and deep traditions and customs of the world of sumo have made him very popular with fans of the sport.
    Singer-songwriter and novelist SADA Masashi has appeared on the “NHK Kohaku Utagassen” 20 times. In addition, the live midnight TV program “Konya mo Nama de Sada Masashi” will be in its sixteenth year. He has gained popularity by continuing to reach out to viewers all over Japan with his light-hearted speaking style.
    SUGITA Satoshi, visiting professor at Showa Women's University, has used his experience in international business in his work as an instructor on the Radio 2 program “Business Eigo” for more than 30 years. He has continued to share his knowledge of practical English and his global outlook.
    SUZUKI Yôiti, head of the Resilient ICT Research Center at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, is a leading expert in the field of acoustics. He has contributed to the improvement of broadcasting technology by working on research that forms the basis for matching the volume of sound in broadcasting.
    Haiku poet and essayist NATSUI Itsuki has appeared in programs such as “Haiku Okoku” and “NATSUI Itsuki no Yomi-Tabi!” for more than 30 years, communicating the appeal of haiku poetry and driving the boom in haiku centered around Matsuyama City.
    The award ceremony will be held at the Broadcasting Memorial Day Ceremony on March 19th.

  • On using 8K technology for disaster prevention

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    NHK continues to move ahead with initiatives to support the safety and security of every person and to help them prepare for disasters. As part of this, we would like to introduce an educational program, which uses 8K CG to encourage children to think about how to prepare for an eruption of Mount Fuji.

    (Comments from the project manager)

    “Moshimo no Toki no Ganko-chan”, which features the Ganko-chan character from Educational TV school broadcasts will illustrate the eruption of Mt. Fuji using 8K CG video and other methods and look at what might happen if an eruption actually occurs, and what evacuation actions should be taken. The three-dimensional map of Mount Fuji featured in the program is an 8K CG visualization of numerical data of the terrain. It aims to show more clearly the traces of past craters and lava flows.
    By visualizing the traces of craters of various sizes and shapes in 8K, it is possible to show the landscape of Mt. Fuji and its surroundings in minute detail, and to capture the traces of past eruptions of the volcano in a more vivid and realistic way.
    In the 8K program “Moshimo no Toki no Ganko-chan Fuji-san ga Funka shitara”, children will learn with Ganko-chan what actions they should take if Mount Fuji erupts and volcanic ash falls on them. The program and sections of it will be broadcast on Educational TV and uploaded to “NHK for School” website. They are also scheduled to be used at exhibition facilities in the area, which we hope will be useful for disaster prevention in the region.
    And a special exhibition introducing the potential use of 8K CG and 8K video in fields such as science and medicine will be held at NHK Plus Cross SHIBUYA in Tokyo.