Comments from the Top (Executive Director - General of Broadcasting)

Executive director - General of Broadcasting

Summary of Press Conference (June, 2018)

  • On reporting of the earthquake in Osaka that measured a lower six on the Japan intensity scale

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida, Executive Director of Broadcasting)

    As Osaka registered its first intensity six earthquake since records began, NHK switched all seven channels – four television and three radio channels – to reporting on the disaster before 8 a.m., right after the earthquake struck. During that time, General TV continued to broadcast special news bulletins related to the earthquake from before 8 a.m. until 4.50 p.m., as well as simultaneous broadcasting on the internet of earthquake news reports until 7.40 p.m. when "News 7" finished. As a public broadcaster, at times when the lives and livelihoods of people are threatened in a critical situation, NHK will be ready to deliver accurate and up-to-the-minute information to meet the needs of our viewers and listeners. Rain is now falling in the affected areas and warnings are being issued for areas where the surface of the land was loosened by the earthquake. Going forward, we are making efforts to prevent secondary damage from aftershocks as much as possible with "disaster reduction" broadcasts.

  • On the Japan national team's first-round victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida)

    Japan secured a victory in its first-round game at the football World Cup last night. Against the background of the change of manager right before the tournament, it was an impressive performance against the powerful Colombia team. NHK showed the game on General TV, recording average viewing figures of 42.8% of households for the first half and 48.7% in the second half, according to Video Research Ltd. According to minute-by-minute analysis, the peak viewing rate was 55.4% of households, recorded at 10.52 and 10.53 p.m., as the Japan team was securing its victory. On the internet, just under 600,000 people are estimated to have accessed the game via the experiment of simultaneous television and online broadcasting “Experimental Provision A”, so a lot of viewers tuned in via both television and the internet. Expectations are also high for the remaining two group games. The second-round game against Senegal will be shown on NHK on BS1 on the 24th, from 11 p.m. and on Radio 1 from 11.50 p.m. In addition, the World Cup can be enjoyed on the internet, via smartphones and computers, with a dedicated website and app. With Japan aiming to reach the knockout stages for the first time in two tournaments, games featuring Japan and hotly-contested game between other countries will be shown.

  • On special programs for the summer

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida)

    <General TV> This year, as we approach the commemorative 100th edition of the National High School Baseball Championship (Summer Koshien), a special feature program "Manatsu no Nekkyu Special (Height of Summer Hot-Baseball Special)" will be broadcast right before the tournament over two evenings on August 3rd and 4th. Players whose incredible performances at the Koshien are still talked about today, along with famous victories which made history and memorable footage, will be presented on the program. On August 7 th, "Remocon (Remote Controller) WARS" will allow all viewers to participate in quizzes and games using the remote controller in this audience participation program.
    <Educational TV> Special series "Shiko Jiken! Moshimo no Sekai (Thought Experiment! Hypothetical World)" will examine the hypothetical situation of 'What if there was no gravity?', the kind of topic that was raised in the sci-fi books that children of the Showa Era were crazy about, will be freely discussed in a thought-provoking fashion that will be both entertaining and educational.
    Anime: Zannen na Ikimono Jiten (Encyclopedia of Pitiful Creatures), the popular children's book has been made into 10 anime short films.
    <BS1> On July 15th, America's immigration problem will be covered in the BS1 Special "Arizona Fuhou Immin Highway (Arizona: Illegal Immigrant Highway)" program. The program will report from the areas around the border between the United States and Mexico, across which 300,000 illegal immigrants a year are said to pass, and look at the fluctuating situation in America over whether to expel or protect illegal immigrants.
    <BS Premium> On August 4th, the drama "Hana Henro Tokubetsu-hen Haruko no Ningyo (Flower Pilgrimage – Special Edition – Haruko's Doll)", based on what can be called a posthumous script by Akira Hayasaka, who died in December last year, will be broadcast.
    <Radio 1> On August 7 th, "Renso Game NEO (Word Association Game Revival)" will be broadcast. "Word Association Game" is a program that ran continuously on General TV for more than 20 years until 1991. Hints that lead to the answers are to be submitted by listeners.
    <FM Radio> From August 13th for five consecutive evenings, special feature programs to commemorate Michael Jackson, who would have turned 60 years old on August 29th.

  • Programs related to "War and Peace"
    NHK Special "Watashi-tachi wa Misterareta – Senso Koji-tachi no Sengoshi (We Were Abandoned – The Post-War History of the War Orphans)" August 12th (General TV)

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida)

    There are said to be around 120,000 children who were orphaned or separated from their parents by the Pacific War. However, the actual truth about what kind of terrible conditions those children endured is largely unknown. In this program, based on testimonies from the orphans as well as discovered documents, a look at the raw truth of orphans who died due to a lack of food and those who turned to crime to survive. The program will examine the post-war history of the orphans, using testimonies from those who were there at the time to shine a light on this little-known issue.

    NHK Special "Kakusareta Haiboku – Nomonhan Senjo no Kyokun- (Hidden Defeat - Battles of Khalkhyn Gol – Lesson From the Battlefield)" August 15th (General TV)
    The Battles of Khalkhyn Gol (known in Japan as the Nomonhan Incident) between the Japanese and Soviet armies began in May 1939. The modern weaponry of the Soviet army helped them inflict 20,000 casualties on the Japanese troops. A feature of the battles was an overly optimistic reading of the situation, in which the amount of material resources was seen as less important than fighting spirit, a microcosm of the basis of mistakes that were repeated over and over in the Pacific War. The program utilizes "AI-based automatic coloring technology" to turn footage into color images, as well as using more than 100 hours of oral testimony to illuminate the entire incident and the essence of the reasons for the mistakes made.

  • BS1 Special "'Akuma no Heiki' wa Koushite Tanjoushita - Genbaku Kaihatsu – Kagakushia 3000-nin no Kokoro no Yami – 'The Weapon of the Devil' Was Born Like This – Atom Bomb Development – The Darkness of the Hearts of 3,000 Scientists" August 12th (BS1)

    The development of the atomic bomb during the Second World War, by 3,000 scientists, including Nobel Prize winners, had an unprecedented budget and was the biggest weapons project in history. Interviews with those involved, along with analysis of newly-discovered documents, have shown that the project was led not by the military or politicians, but by scientists. The program will gaze into the darkness of the human heart by focusing on the process of the development of the atomic bomb, which opened up the possibility of humankind being destroyed by humankind.

  • "Heiwa e no Baton wo Tsunagu – Hibakusha no Jinsei wo Tadoru Wakamono no Torikumi (Passing the Baton of Peace – Tracing the Lives of the Atomic Bomb Survivors – Efforts of the Young Generation)" August 9th (Radio 1)

    This radio documentary examines the book being written by a woman who are the third generation of atomic bomb survivors in Nagasaki, which aims to record the lives of the survivors for future generations.

  • NHK Special "Tsuiseki!! Einstein no No – Ushinawareta 'Tensai No' no Himitsu ni Semaru "Pursuit!! Einstein's Brain is Gone: 'The Genius Brain' Uncovering the Secret"

    (Comments by Yasuhiro Kan, Senior Director, Assistance of Broadcasting)

    On General TV on July 15 th, an NHK Special "Tsuiseki!! Einstein no No – Ushinawareta 'Tensai No' no Himitsu ni Semaru "Pursuit!! Einstein's Brain is Gone: 'The Genius Brain' Uncovering the Secret" will be broadcast. Albert Einstein, the genius physicist, died in 1955. After his death, an autopsy was performed, and his brain removed, cut up into a number of sections that were then sent to different places around the world for research purposes. Until now, it hasn't been known exactly where those sections of his brain were. New evidence discovered in this investigation has identified the people in possession of Einstein's brain worldwide, including Japan. Among them are people who have more than 100 dissected brains and a researcher who has hundreds of photographs taken at the time of Einstein's autopsy. The program, with the cooperation of the people in possession of parts of Einstein's brain and researchers, will recreate his brain for the first time using 3DCG, and analyze the brain that gave birth to the theory of relativity, uncovering the unknown secrets of the genius brain.

  • "Sekai Saidai-kyu! Laos Zekkei no Mito Doukutsu ni Idomu (World Class Level! The Challenge of the Incredible Sights of the Unexplored Caves of Laos)"

    (Comments by Yasuhiro Kan)

    On General TV on July 16th, the special feature program "Sekai Saidai-kyu! Laos Zekkei no Mito Doukutsu ni Idomu (World Class Level! The Challenge of the Incredible Sights of the Unexplored Caves of Laos)" will be broadcast. There are said to be many 'unexplored caves' in the world that nobody has ever set foot in. In caves that have thus far been discovered, there are those which the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building [200m high] would fit completely inside and those which are as long as the distance between Tokyo and Okayama [more than 500km]. And the place that the world's explorers are currently focused on is Laos. In recent years, one giant cave after another has been discovered in Laos, where there are many huge limestone areas spread across the country. This year in March, Katsuji Yoshida, who is said to be Japan's leading cave explorer, challenged this unexplored cave in Laos, which may be one of the world's largest. In the darkness of the cave huge rivers flow, there are rocks as sharp as blades, extremely high humidity and alkaline underground water, and beyond that magnificent, mysterious and huge open caverns. The program will take a close-up look at Yoshida's exploration and comprehensively illuminate the mysterious world created by nature.

  • “Saikyo Nippon Takkyu – Fukkatsu e no Michi (Strongest Japanese Table Tennis – The Road to Revival)

    (Comments by Hiroshi Araki, Senior Director, Responsible for NHK WORLD-JAPAN, Assistance of Broadcasting)

    On BS1 on July 29th, a special feature program “Saikyo Nippon Takkyu – Fukkatsu e no Michi (Strongest Japanese Table Tennis – The Road to Revival) will be broadcast. At the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games, Japan’s men and women both took medals in table tennis. Currently, players Miu Hirano, Mima Ito and Tomokazu Harimoto, who are all in their teens, are performing very well and hopes are high for them at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Where did this strength come from? In the 1950s, Japan was the leading table tennis nation in the world. The central figure in this was Ichiro Ogimura, who coached not only in Japan, but also in China and around the world, taking table tennis on to be a global sport. After that, Japanese table tennis entered a long period of stagnation, but due to the people who followed Ogimura’s teachings, it is now entering a new golden era. The ‘Ping-pong Diplomacy’ of Ogimura’s people, the discovery of hungry young players, sending young athletes overseas to live and practice and the reasons for the strength of today’s Japanese table tennis, mixed with the drama of the resurgence, will all be portrayed.

  • BS1 Special "Futsu no Shichi-nin ga Idomu 'Kasei Iju Jikken' (Seven Regular People's Challenge: Trying to Move to Mars)"

    (Comments by Hiroshi Araki)

    On July 14th, the BS 1 Special "CREW 191 Futsu no Shichi-nin ga Idomu 'Kasei Iju Jikken' (Seven Regular People's Challenge: Trying to Move to Mars)" will be broadcast. In March this year, in Utah in the United States, an experiment that simulated moving to the planet Mars was conducted. A series of scientific experiments were carried out on the participants as they lived inside a replica landing module for two weeks. The seven participants included students and office workers, as well as an NHK cameraman, whose job it was to record the experiments. The Mars Society international NPO leads the experiment, and until now it has been run 190 times with participants who have been scientists and space experts. However, the stress of the experiments in a confined space have always led to a breakdown in interpersonal relationships and trouble between participants. So, for the 191st time, the experiment will look at how ordinary people, not specialists, deal with the problems of living in a very harsh environment. For the experiment, water and electricity are limited, and there is no contact with the outside world. In addition, participants will wear 20kg space suits and air and radiation will be measured. The result of how the ordinary people faired in their challenge of moving to Mars will be shown through the eyes of the participants.