Comments from the Top (Executive Director of Broadcasting)

Summary of Press Conference (July, 2019)

  • On programs related to the Rugby World Cup 2019

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida, Executive Director of Broadcasting)

    A festival of sport that ignites passions around the world, the Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan, beginning on September 20th. NHK will show a two-part special program that portrays the essence of the combative sport of rugby.
    The first episode will present comprehensive analysis, using the latest science, of 'ultimate plays' by the world's best teams. The program will, for the first time, use the Free Viewpoint Video System, which allows the perspective of footage that has been shot to be changed, to analyse a game that was played last year between Australia and current world champions New Zealand, who also won the previous tournament. On top of giving the feeling of actually being on the pitch through the extremely impactful footage, researchers and legends of the rugby world will use the results of scientific analysis to present what is revealed about this 'ultimate' world.
    The second episode will focus on the Japan national team. At the last World Cup, they beat one of the tournament favorites South Africa, in what has been described as 'One of the greatest upsets in sporting history', but still didn't make it through to the quarter finals. The approach that the Japan national team used in facing its goals was a style of playing characterized as 'Not being afraid to take risks and attacking boldly while judging the situation.' That strategy provides the chance to fully grasp opportunities when they arise, but on the other hand, it means taking big risks and if a mistake is made then the ball will be lost to the opposition. The current team is undergoing what is said to be the toughest training in the history of the national side, while also working thoroughly on tactics. The program, based on long-term, close-up reporting on the players who are carrying the burden of the expectations of the people as host nation, presents what is revealed about their chances of victory.
    And the theme song for NHK rugby programs is now ready. The title is "ECHO", sung by Little Glee Monster. We hope that the ladies' beautiful and powerful harmonies will become something that lifts the spirits of supporters and inspires the players in their fiercely competitive matches ahead.
    NHK will broadcast 31 of the 48 World Cup games, including Japan vs Ireland and two other games live on General TV, and Japan vs Russia, the final and nine other games live on BS1.
    In addition, before the start of the World Cup, NHK will also broadcast two of Japan's games from the Pacific Nations Cup and the September 6th test match against the powerful South Africa team.

  • Sports & Human "TOKYO e no 'Ippatsu Shobu' – Shijo-hatsu! Marathon Gorin Daihyo Kettei-sen (Aiming for Tokyo – The First One-Chance Race in History – Marathon Olympic Qualifier)"

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida)

    Today, July 24th, marks exactly one year to go until the opening of the Tokyo Olympic Games. NHK will be delivering a variety of programs for viewers to enjoy that will build excitement as we head toward the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In September on BS1 "Sports & Human" will cover the women's marathon runners. On September 15th, the first one-chance qualifying race in Japanese Olympic history will be held to decide the runners for the Tokyo 2020 marathon event. Of the three slots for Japanese runners for the marathon, two will be decided in this 'one-chance race', which will be run by 12 athletes who have cleared the required time in qualifying events. Among them are Ayuko Suzuki, Mizuki Matsuda and Kayoko Fukushi, three runners who are said to be Olympic medal hopefuls.
    The program will examine the way friends, family and others have supported the three runners up until now, how they look back at the interactions with those important people, and how they will approach this crucial 'one-chance race', on which so much is riding for them.
    In addition to delivering these programs, NHK is also using a website to deliver information relating to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This website, the NHK Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Site, was relaunched on July 17th. Looking ahead, as the Games approach, the site will provide information on the interesting aspects of athletes and events, as well as delivering information to allow everyone to enjoy the Olympic and Paralympic broadcasts.
    And toward the end of August, special programming to mark one year to go until the Paralympic Games are scheduled for broadcast.

  • NHK Special "Tokyo Dai-Teiden ni Sonaero (Preparing for a Major Power Outage in Tokyo)"

    (Comments by Satoru Masagaki, Deputy Executive Director of Broadcasting)

    On September 1st, Disaster Prevention Day, special programs related to earthquakes, typhoons and other natural disasters, are broadcast by NHK. This year on Disaster Prevention Day, an NHK Special "Tokyo Dai-Teiden ni Sonaero (Preparing for a Major Power Outage in Tokyo)" will be shown. In September last year, after the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi earthquake struck, there was a major power outage and blackout in Japan for the first time. Based on footage from the time and testimonies from those who were there, the program will shine a light on the situation during the power outage in Hokkaido, which made the medical services communication system inoperable, disrupting the admission of patients to hospitals at the time of the disaster and coming close to causing a collapse in the medical infrastructure. In addition, it is also clear that with logistics systems down, there was an extended period of time when there were shortages of foodstuffs and other supplies.
    The Cabinet Office projects that in the event of an earthquake striking directly below the Tokyo metropolitan area, only around half of the required electricity would be available, and there would be power outages across a wide area that could continue for up to a week. In the event of a major power outage, what kind of dangers could be instore? What kind of provisions should be made for a widespread power cut? Mixing in scenes of simulated drama, the program will make viewers think about the kind of preparations that are needed.

  • Programs revived in 4K: Silk Road Part 2 "Caravan wa Nishi e – Saigen, Kodai Taisho no Tabi (Caravan to the West – A Journey Recreating the Ancient Trade Routes)

    (Comments by Ikuko Suzuki, Deputy Executive Director of Broadcasting)

    On BS4K on September 28th, a 4K remastered version of the 1984 "NHK Tokushu (Special) Silk Road" program will be broadcast.
    When it was first broadcast, it was converted from 16mm color film to video, then edited. For this remastered version, video image analysis technology was used to find the cuts used in the 1984 broadcast from the original 43 rolls of films, which were digitally scanned in 4K and then edited.
    The episode that will be broadcast is the "Dai Ni-bu Dai Ju-go-shu Caravan wa Nishi e (Part 2: Episode 15 – Caravan to the West)". After long years of civil war in Syria, the country has suffered huge destruction, including of the historic ruins of the city of Palmyra, a symbol of the country's former glory and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The program brings back to life the peaceful days of Syria, the lives of the people, the time when the archaeological ruins of Palmyra were still standing, in vivid footage remastered in 4K.
    And regarding the "Silk Road", on BS Premium beginning from August 12th, all 12 episodes of part 1, a journey through China, will be broadcast.

  • Another Stories – A Turning Point of Destiny "Terebi Drama no Kinjito 'Oshin' Dai-hit no Butai-ura (A Landmark in Television Drama 'Oshin' - Behind the Scenes)"

    (Comments by Ikuko Suzuki)

    BS Premium's "Another Stories – Unmei no Bunkiten (A Turning Point of Destiny)" is a program which looks back at what really happened around events and incidents that everyone remembers from a variety of perspectives, using new testimonies from those who were involved at the time but can only talk about it now, as well as matters that have become clear after the long intervening years.
    On August 13th, the program will look at the morning serial drama "Oshin". BS Premium is currently showing "Oshin" again and even now it is resonating with many viewers. When it was first broadcast in 1983, the never say die spirit in the face of adversity of the lead character captured the imagination of many and it became an immediate phenomenon, setting viewing figure records for a television drama. That popularity spread around the world and "Oshin" became synonymous with Japan.
    What was it that Japanese people saw of themselves in the portrayals of "Oshin"? The program will present 'another stories' from the people involved in the production of the series, those viewers who followed the ups and downs of Oshin's life in the drama, and women from overseas who found courage for their own lives in the way she lived hers.

  • Regarding the broadcasts of morning serial dramas

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida)

    In line with our stated aim of delivering the highest standards in broadcasting and services by 2020, in December last year NHK launched the BS4K and BS8K channels. And 4K production is moving ahead even for drama programs. This year's historical Taiga drama "Idaten" was made in 4K, following which next year's morning serial drama "Yell" will also be produced in the high-resolution format.
    With 4K programs, although the process of making them at the same time in 2K (regular high-definition resolution) is becoming more efficient, compared with production just in 2K, the preparation, recording and editing portions do take time, meaning the overall length of the production process is set to grow. In addition, taking into account the large number of cast and crew involved in program creation, so that production can continue of morning serial dramas for viewers to enjoy, from "Yell" onwards, it has been decided that broadcasts will run five days a week.
    As for broadcasts on Saturday, being conscious of the fact that there are people who are unable to watch the morning serial dramas on weekdays, we are currently considering whether to launch some type of new service or the like.

  • On the Arson attack on Kyoto Animation

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida)

    On July 18th in Kyoto City an arson attack on the studio of Kyoto Animation led to a large number of deaths and injuries. The studio had many fans around the world, as was reported on NHK programs, and the place where this tragic incident occurred is somewhere that has created works which nurtured dreams, hopes and inspiration for people. This has caused a great deal of sorrow.
    Kyoto Animation's productions have been broadcast numerous times on NHK. We and our group companies have also commissioned work from them. The lives of creators brimming with talent have been taken and I offer our most sincere condolences. We also hope and pray that those who have been injured can recover as quickly as possible.