Comments from the Top (Executive Director of Broadcasting)
Summary of Press Conference (June, 2019)
On the response to the Yamagata Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture earthquake
(Comments by Yukinori Kida, Executive Director of Broadcasting)
On the evening of June 18th, an earthquake struck off the coast of Yamagata Prefecture, which registered upper 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in Murakami City, Niigata and lower 6 in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata.
NHK issued an Earthquake Early Warning at 10.22 in the evening, with General TV switching over to emergency news broadcasts immediately. Two minutes later at 10.24, there was a message from the Japan Meteorological Agency stating that the strongest shaking would measure upper 6, at which point, all nine NHK channels, six television and three radio, began emergency news bulletin broadcasts. As part of that, General TV continued with special earthquake news reporting after the tsunami warning had been lifted, until 1.30a.m. the following day on the 19th. Even after that, 10-minute special news reports were delivered on the hour, through the morning at 2, 3 and 4a.m.
On the internet, earthquake news reports were streamed simultaneously from 10.26p.m. on the 18th until 9.26a.m. on the 19th.
In addition, for people from overseas who were in Japan, English was available on the audio sub-channel of the special news reports, with viewers able to listen to the audio from the international broadcast channel NHK WORLD JAPAN.
For NHK, our viewers are looking for accurate and timely information at times of emergencies that could have a major impact on their lives and livelihoods. As a public broadcaster, we are ready to answer that call by delivering accurate, easy to understand information as quickly as possible. Going forward, we are making efforts to reduce as much as possible, through our reporting on the situation, any secondary damage that could be caused by natural disasters.
On special programs for the summer on the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games
(Comments by Yukinori Kida)
As we are nearing the one-year mark until the opening of Tokyo 2020, NHK will this summer deliver a variety of programming related to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
On General TV on July 24th and August 28th “2020 Stadium” will be broadcast.
For the July episode, The NHK Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic 'special navigators' the members of boy-band Arashi will present coverage of athletes who are medal hopes and the situation from the various towns that will host teams from countries around the world, delivering a wealth of information as the one-year mark until Tokyo 2020 draws near. Programming in August is scheduled to feature para-sports athletes from Japan and abroad to portray the depth and appeal of their events.
August 25th will see the broadcast of an NHK Special "KIZUNA (Bonds)", which will feature appearances by visually impaired para-sports runners who run in a pair with a sighted athlete. One pair are American 100-meter runners who have recorded times at the 10-second level, while the other are Japanese marathon runners, both of which are world record holders. The runners, who run the risk of falling and injuring themselves, are connected to each other by a 30-cm rope, which is also known as a 'kizuna (bond)'. The program will feature the latest science in a documentary format to illustrate the unique bond between the runners, which is a relationship that goes way beyond 'the supported and supporter'.
Summer special feature programs related to 'Thinking about War and Peace'
(Comments by Yukinori Kida)
On August 11th, an NHK Special "Kanzen Fukugen Guadalcanal no Tatakai (A Complete Recreation of the Battle of Guadalcanal)" will be shown. The Battle of Guadalcanal was a turning point in the course of the Pacific War. NHK has uncovered wartime records that vividly recreate previously unknown details of the sequence of events of this bloody battle. A precise timeline of the battle shows the movements of both the Japanese and U.S. armies, allowing the 'complete' recreation of the battlefield to the extent that viewers can feel as if they were really there. What has emerged from these records is how wave after wave of the U.S. and Japanese forces repeatedly attacked each other. The Battle of Guadalcanal has been known as a 'desperate campaign' for the Japanese forces, but it was the American troops who faced the harsher situation at the beginning. The program features the Guadalcanal battlegrounds of the land, sea and air, reconstructed through 3D digital technology to shine a light on the entirety of this military defeat for Japan.
And in August, General TV will broadcast a special drama "Mango no Ki no Shita de (Under the Mango Trees)", which tells the tale of the Japanese women who lived in the wartime occupied Philippines and recorded how they barely managed to survive the death and destruction of the war. As the U.S. military continued to advance, women attempted to make the dangerous escape from Manila, during which many lost their lives. This drama is based on the wartime experiences of women who survived, with the heroine played at different stages of her life by Keiko Kishi and Kaya Kiyohara.
In addition, aside from the drama, BS1 will show a major documentary "Mango no Ki no Shita de – Watashi wa Koshite Jigoku o Ikita (Under the Mango Tree – This is How I Lived Through Hell)". The documentary will delve into the unknown story of the women and children who experienced 'heaven' and 'hell' on the southern islands of the Philippines through intensive reporting, including interviews with survivors, and journals from the time, based on a list of 3,000 people that was compiled during their escape.
"BOSAI Manabi no Tabi – Suigai-hen (Disaster Prevention – Journey of Learning – Water Damage Edition)"
(Comments by Satoru Masagaki, Deputy Executive Director of Broadcasting)
On BS1 on July 8th, a BS1 Special "BOSAI Manabi no Tabi – Suigai-hen (Disaster Prevention – Journey of Learning – Water Damage Edition)" will be shown. It will be presented by Minori Takao of NHK's international channel NHK WORLD JAPAN and feature guests who are experts in meteorology and river management, who visit regions of Japan and India on journeys to learn about measures to prevent water-related disasters and the people involved in implementing them. Across huge swathes of the planet, water disasters are a grave problem that bring suffering to people. Domestically, disasters cause sudden destruction, such as the floods that struck western Japan last year, while in South Asia, the rainy season between July and September causes flooding on a large scale every year. And in recent years, against the background of the increasing in population and climate changing due to global warming, concerns about the growth in damage are rising and stronger measures to counteract the issue are needed. In Japan, the program will compare the latest measures with the knowledge of water management that was born 450 years ago. In India, it will look at the sacred city of Varanasi, which sits on the basin of the Ganges River, where a strong citizen's community dedicated to disaster prevention has newly developed, visiting the schools where these measures are taught. The program will examine the future of BOSAI disaster prevention.