Comments from the Top (Executive Director of Broadcasting)
Summary of Press Conference (September, 2019)
On the response to the damage caused by Typhoon Faxai
(Comments by Yukinori Kida, Executive Director of Broadcasting)
On September 9th, Typhoon Faxai (Typhoon No.15) made landfall in Chiba Prefecture, causing a widespread power outage, damage to homes and other disruption. It will take time for the damage in Chiba Prefecture to be repaired and the ongoing power outages are impacting people's lives. We offer our deepest sympathy for the people who have suffered from this disaster.
When such extreme events majorly impact the lives of the nation's citizens, as a public media, NHK aims to deliver useful information as quickly as possible to help protect people and their livelihoods.
This disaster, centered on Chiba Prefecture, has led to prolonged power outages and a situation where it is difficult to repair homes. In order to connect with the citizens of the area, and to assist with support and reconstruction, by being able to deliver precise information, all the channels of communication - television, radio and the internet – are being strengthened.
On General TV, special news programs and bulletins are being broadcast along with textual information on L-shaped news ticker and data broadcasting.
As some people are unable to watch television due to the power outages, as well as transmitting information via radio, there are also simultaneous radio broadcasts being delivered on the internet and a catch-up service.
Detailed information aimed at assisting support measures and reconstruction are also being made available on a dedicated website, NHK News WEB and the 'News – Bosai (disaster prevention) App'.
For people from overseas who are in Japan, the international broadcast channels of NHK WORLD JAPAN on television, radio and the internet, are delivering information.
Going forward, NHK will use all its transmission channels to protect the lives and livelihoods of citizens, putting the utmost effort into delivering useful information and fulfil its role as a public media.
'Saigai Retto Ikiru Skill (Survival skills in disaster-prone Japan)' Experience – Earthquake Directly Beneath Tokyo week
'Hattatsu-shogai-tte Nan Daro Special (What are Developmental Disorders?)' special autumn week
(Comments by Yukinori Kida)
I would like to introduce two major campaigns which NHK is running.
The first was announced in the president's September press conference, the large-scale disaster prevention and disaster reduction campaign 'Saigai Retto Ikiru Skill (Survival skills in disaster-prone Japan)'. From December 1st to 8th, as part of the "Taiken – Shuto Chokka Jishin (Experience – Earthquake Directly Beneath Tokyo) Week". Over the eight days, seven related NHK Special programs will be presented.
Firstly, on December 12th, as a 'prologue', a prediction for all the damage which would be caused by an earthquake striking directly beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area, including the forecast drawn up by the Cabinet Office and the results of the latest research, will be presented.
From the 2nd for four consecutive days, a drama based on a simulation of the consequences of an earthquake directly striking the metropolitan area "Tokyo Parallel" will be broadcast. It will portray in real time what is predicted to happen in the first four days after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake centered on Tokyo strikes. The drama is set in a fictitious Tokyo television station. The lead role is played by Fuka Koshiba and the drama depicts the struggles of a team of reporters at a television station hit by an earthquake which strikes the capital, using visual effects to create footage of the destruction in Tokyo.
The chaos and upheaval experienced over four days by the main characters in the aftermath of the disaster will be felt by viewers of the drama.
After each episode of the drama, there will be a live, studio-based discussion on why the kind of damage depicted would occur.
And on the 7th there will be an NHK Special about the severe secondary damage that would continue after an earthquake had struck, while on the 8th, the issue of what can be done during these peaceful times to safeguard lives and assets will be addressed.
During this period, the "Asaichi" morning talk show and "Gogo Nama" afternoon talk show will feature discussions on how to respond to the damage depicted in the drama and deliver practical information related to that. Footage of disaster prevention drills organized by local governments and other entities will also be presented. As for the drama, centered on NHK Online, the storyline will progress between episodes via social media interactions involving the characters.
We would like our viewers to 'experience' the earthquake in various ways over these eight days.
The other campaign is related to the fact that it is estimated as many as one in 15 elementary and middle school students, including possible cases, have some type of developmental disorder. People with developmental disorders were born with a 'special way of seeing the world' or other unique characteristics which people around them find difficult to understand. This can make it easy for people to mistakenly label them as 'spoiled' or 'lazy', making them feel life is hard and leading more than a few to fall into depression, not attending school or social isolation.
NHK has been running a campaign since November of last year along the theme of 'Hattatsu-shogai-tte Nan Daro Special (What are Developmental Disorders?)', which aims to spread knowledge of developmental disorders to many people and to make them think about what is necessary for us to be able to all live together harmoniously.
At the end of October, as part of a special week, "Tokoro-san! Taihen Desuyo (Tokoro-san, It's an Incident!)" and "Professional Shigoto no Ryugi (Professional: Style of Work)" from General TV and "Sukusuku Kosodate (Raising Healthy Children)" from Educational TV will have developmental disorder specials, along with variety and news programs, for a total of more than 20 programs related to the topic. And not only through broadcasting, but on the NHK website 'NHK Kenko (Health) Channel' information from the programs on developmental disorders will be presented via video, audio and text. Meanwhile, events such as concerts will be organized for people with or without developmental disorders to enjoy. Based on our reporting on developmental disorders, as well as deepening understanding and knowledge of the related issues, useful information and practical hints on how to overcome barriers will be delivered to our viewers.
On the programs for the second half of the 2019 broadcasting year
(Comments by Yukinori Kida)
For the second half of the 2019 broadcasting year, in addition to new programs, some programs that have been popular with viewers will also be further improved and return to screens.
On General TV from September 30th, the 101st morning serial drama "Scarlet" will begin. The story is about Kimiko Kawahara, a fictional potter from one of the centers of Japanese pottery Shigaraki, played by Erika Toda. This original story tells of a woman whose passion for her craft and happiness derived from it, combined with her indomitable strength and natural optimism, drove her in her work and child-rearing. Ms. Toda begins to be featured properly from the end of the second week, though she appears right at the beginning of the program. The heroine works hard to support her family and is surrounded by a great cast as she progresses through life; please look forward to this drama.
On Friday evenings, aimed at the younger generation, "Kinyobi no Solo-tachi e (Dear Friday Singletons)" will be shown. This variety program will let viewers look directly into the homes of people living alone. Consecutive footage of four different single people living alone will show both the freedom and the lonely aspects of their existence. Viewers can freely choose which of the singles they wish to observe, watching just one person or switching their attention between them.
On Educational TV, people who have had difficult experiences will appear in frank discussions, using the medium of puppets, in season 4 of "Nehorin-Pahorin".
On BS1, a new documentary series "The Human" will movingly portray people from a variety of fields who are striving to open up new frontiers. The hopes and challenges of the subjects of the documentaries, along with their deep struggles, will be presented in an honest fashion.
On BS Premium, season 8 of "The Profiler", which examines the lives of important figures from history, is coming soon.
On BS4K, "Kiseki no Hoshi (One Strange Rock)" the epic scale Hollywood documentary series which depicts the 'mysteries of the earth' will be broadcast.
Programs for the second half of the broadcasting year will start from September 30th for all channels except BS1, which will switch from November 4th.
NHK Special "Tokyo Black Hole II Hakai to Sozo no (The Destruction and Construction of) 1964"
(Comments by Satoru Masagaki, Deputy Executive Director of Broadcasting)
On October 13th, the NHK Special "Tokyo Black Hole II Hakai to Sozo no1964 (The Destruction and Construction of 1964)" will be broadcast. This is the second edition of the program which attracted a lot of attention when it was broadcast in 2017. The first program saw a contemporary youth played by Takayuki Yamada go back in time and experience postwar Tokyo in 'postwar year zero', but this time will see him go back to 1964, the year of the Tokyo Olympics.
1964 is spoken of nostalgically as 'an era of great hopes and dreams' in Japan, but there is footage of the times showing pollution getting worse, huge upheaval in Tokyo and grand construction projects plagued by corruption; the darker side of those times captured on film. Although it was a period of record economic growth, it was as if the Olympic Games were a black hole whose powerful gravity pulled people, materials and money in from all over Japan and swallowed them. It was a time of huge feverish change in Japan which can be seen in the program.
Special drama "Stranger -Shanghai no Akutagawa Ryunosuke- (A stranger in Shanghai)
(Comments by Ikuko Suzuki, Deputy Executive Director of Broadcasting)
This 8K drama was shot in summer this year almost entirely in Shanghai, China.
Based on real events 100 years ago, when Ryunosuke Akutagawa who traveled to China as a foreign correspondent for a newspaper, which was going through a period of great tumult. The story portrays Akutagawa and the people he meets and interacts with in China. The script was written by Aya Watanabe, who also wrote the morning serial drama "Carnation". The lead is played by Ryuhei Matsuda. The cinematography is by Nobuyasu Kita, a famous camera operator in Japanese cinema.
The drama will be broadcast simultaneously on the three channels of BS8K, BS4K and General TV. 1920s China will be recreated in beautiful 8K images.
Para x Doki! "Iza Tokyo e! Aki no Para Matsuri (Aiming for Tokyo! Autumn Parasports Festival)"
(Comments by Satoru Masagaki)
On BS1, Para x Doki! (Parasports Hour!) features the comedy duo Chidori as presenters, focusing on a single parasports athlete and taking a deep dive into their ups and downs in life and sport. November 2nd will see the broadcast of "Iza Tokyo e! Aki no Para Matsuri (Aiming for Tokyo! Autumn Parasports Festival)", which will cover the results from the various world championships during this period, as well as take a look at the Tokyo Paralympic Games through the prism of Japan's athletes. Reporting from the world championships of para swimming, para athletics, para basketball and goalball, all of which Japan has medal hopes for, will give viewer the feeling of actually being there.