Comments from the President

Summary of Press Conference (May, 2022)

  • On the Collision During a Live Broadcast of an Athletics Event

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu, President)

    We deeply apologize to the injured athlete and related parties over this incident. As a broadcaster that does live broadcasts of sports events, we must not allow such incidents to happen. We are taking thorough measures to prevent a recurrence.

  • On the “Social Demonstration Experiment”

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    We carried out the first phase of our “social demonstration experiment” from April 22nd to May 7th. The aim was to research and verify issues such as NHK’s role and significance as a public service media organization in delivering programs and information via the internet, and the diversifying needs of viewers. The “social demonstration experiment” involved around 3,000 people, mainly those who do not regularly watch TV. We believe that it was carried out mostly according to plan, without any major problems. We considered the functions our services should provide and sorted them into three categories. They are: “correctly deepening understanding and realizing,” “expanding knowledge and connecting” and “easily finding necessary information.” We plan to verify these functions through seven specific services. We conducted a survey on people who experienced these services and asked them whether the services fulfilled the functions. We are currently examining and analyzing the results. We will announce the results of the research and anlysis as quickly as possible, and explain them to the parties concerned, including commercial broadcasters. We will consider the timing and content of the second phase of the “social demonstration experiment” after looking at the results of the first phase and the issues that we need to address.

  • On the Public Media Campaign to Prevent and Reduce Disasters

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    Okinawa and Kyushu have entered rainy season earlier than average. At NHK, we are working on disaster prevention and mitigation, and as part of our efforts, we will start a public media campaign this month called “Suigai kara Inochi to Kurashi o Mamoru.” The campaign took place last year and the year before that as well, and our local stations all over the country are now taking part. For the current fiscal year, the theme is “Minna de Tasukaru Tame ni, Ima, Dekiru Koto,” and we will more directly encourage our viewers and local communities to think and act together in order to prevent and reduce disasters. One of our new efforts aims to engage younger generations. We created a video asking younger people, who are quick at accessing digital information, to take the lead in disaster prevention by encouraging others to evacuate. We also created a song for children so that they can raise their awareness of disaster prevention while having fun. Another one of our efforts is a project in which we consider disaster prevention with local communities. We plan to call for community meetings to be held in which local residents, municipalities and experts can come together and consider how to support those who have difficulty evacuating without the help of others, such as the elderly and people with disabilities. As a public service media organization, we would like to take on this role of connecting welfare with disaster prevention. We would like to encourage people to take action, such as preparing for disasters before they arrive and evacuating during disasters -- actions that will increase the disaster preparedness of local communities.

    (Comments by the project manager)

    As part of our efforts to promote the engagement of younger generations, we have created an educational video called “Minna de Tasukaru Ko-ru.” By delivering this movie to younger people through our broadcasts and digital services, we aim to have them take the lead in encouraging evacuation. We had NAKAYAMA Kinnikun, a comedian and bodybuilder, appear in the video. In a survey that NHK conducted on the residents forced to evacuate during the 2018 torrential rain in western Japan, more than 30 percent of respondents said the reason they evacuated was because acquaintances or other people called out to them. We would like people to proactively call out to each other to encourage evacuation. Next, I would like to talk about the disaster prevention song for children. The title is “Kowagari Hero.” In the lyrics, we expressed the importance of protecting yourself during a disaster, and of calling on other people to evacuate. We plan to play the song on Educational TV’s “Ao Kiiro” and “Minna no Uta” from June. We would like children to sing along and become disaster prevention heroes. We also made a pocket-size disaster prevention card for children. We will distribute the card to our local stations across the country. We hope people will pick it up and use it in discussions on disaster preparations, and in disaster prevention classes. Another pillar of the campaign is a project that encourages people to think about disaster prevention in collaboration with local communities. Local governments have an obligation to make efforts to create individual evacuation plans for those who need assistance evacuating, such as the elderly and people with disabilities. The project will hold community meetings to bring together people who feel a lack of connection with their community, or those belonging to voluntary disaster prevention organizations who believe that “measures for people who need support is an issue the community must deal with, but there’s no opportunity to act.” We will connect such people with local governments and experts, and hold meetings where everyone can consider the issue together. In March this year, we held such meetings in Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture and in Kunitachi City in Tokyo. We plan to hold more meetings in the future all over the country. We will continue our other efforts as well. “Jikkan! Hazado Mappu” is a tool that shows the depth of possible flooding in your local area by superimposing it on the actual landscape. It can be used by installing an app on a tablet. The tool is already being used at guest lectures in schools and will be used in community meetings in the future. All of these endeavors are aimed at encouraging people to think about what they can do to save others. We would like to focus on the community and fulfill our role as a public service media organization to support safety and security.

  • On Using 8K Technology in the Field of Education

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    At NHK, we are continuing our efforts to use 8K technology to record valuable cultural assets such as national treasures, as well as historical heritages and artworks so that we can pass them on to future generations. We are hoping that using the technology in various fields such as education and academic research will be one way that we can contribute to society. I would like to introduce a new endeavor in which we aim to contribute to the field of education by using materials shot in 8K. Since 2011, NHK has been providing an online service called “NHK for School.” A study in fiscal 2020 found that around 90 percent of elementary schools and about 50 percent of junior high schools in Japan use the service. The service includes content called “Monosugoi Zukan,” and we used program materials shot in 8K to release a “cultural assets edition” of it. The project manager will explain the details.

    (Comments by the project manager)

    “Monosugoi Zukan” is an interactive picture book showing insects. It has been used for school education. In recent years, following the start of the “GIGA School Concept,” schools are moving to incorporate information and communications technology, or ICT. In response to this, we created a “cultural assets edition” of the picture book. The concept is “interactive museum.” Famous cultural assets can be viewed online, and can even be virtually moved around freely. It currently shows “Shakouki Dogu (Clay Figurine with Google-Like Eyes),” an important Japanese cultural property that often appears in textbooks. In June, we plan to release content on “Choju Giga (Frolicking Animals).” To create the cultural assets edition, we used program materials shot in 8K. For the content featuring the “Shakouki Dogu (Clay Figurine with Google-Like Eyes),” we used ultra-high resolution three-dimensional computer graphics that we created for the BS8K program “Mita Koto no nai Bunkazai.” As for “Choju Giga (Frolicking Animals),” we used still images taken from archive footage of our BS8K program “Nazo no Kokuho Choju Giga,” and by stitching together these images, we were able to create the scroll’s data. Because the resolution of the still images is 8K, or approximately 33 million pixels, the image quality will not deteriorate even if they are enlarged on the high-definition tablets used in schools. The content we introduced is on NHK’s official website, NHK Online, and can be used by anybody. We will take into consideration the responses of schools as we consider increasing our lineup of valuable cultural assets that can be viewed easily.

  • On “Giken Kokai 2022 (NHK STRL Open House 2022)”

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    In our annual “Giken Kokai (STRL Open House),” we present the latest results of the research of NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories (STRL) to the public. This year will be the 75th edition of the event. It will be held for four days from May 26th. The theme this year is “Gijutsu ga Tsumugu Mirai no Media (Cutting-Edge Technologies to Spin up Future Media).” Our exhibit features 16 results of research and development projects, including three-dimensional video technologies to enable new types of viewing experiences, and technologies to allow media content to be seamlessly enjoyed regardless of the delivery platform. Last year, the event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic, but this year, in addition to holding the event online, we plan to have an in-person event for the first time in three years.

    (Comments by the project manager)

    I would like to talk about the topics of interest from three key focal points: immersive media, which aims to provide new experiences and excitement that exceed the limits of TV; universal services, which delivers services anytime to anyone, anywhere; and frontier science, which creates the media of the future and contributes to a sustainable society. The first highlight is “Meta Studio” technology, which aims to acquire more realistic volumetric data. This technology involves putting the subject in a studio where its three-dimensional shapes and patterns can be filmed from 360 degrees in minute detail to show realistic textures. It is already possible to acquire volumetric data on photographic subjects through various methods, but with the “Meta Studio” developed by STRL, post-processing techniques allow perspectives, textures and light sources to be freely adjusted. Anime-like editing and other augmentations that weren’t possible until now can be done. Next is the “Light Field Head-mounted Display,” which is used to view virtual reality. This display technology uses lens arrays, consisting of many small lenses arranged in orderly alignments, to reproduce the ways in which light reflects off objects in the real world. This offers viewers natural 3D video experiences that are expected to result in less eyestrain than conventional technologies. Finally, “Seamless Linking Technology between Broadcast and OTT platforms” uses both broadcast and broadband channels to deliver services to any and every conceivable viewing device. This technique is based on web technology and allows seamless switching back and forth between broadcast programming and internet-delivered video regardless of the device, whether it be a TV, computer, or smartphone. In addition to the exhibits, we will also have lectures on the future of broadcast and media technology, and “lab talks” in which researcher discuss their work. Through this online and in-person event, we hope to have many people experience these latest technologies.