Comments from the Top (Executive Director of Broadcasting)

Summary of Press Conference (February, 2020)

  • On programming for domestic broadcasting in the next fiscal year

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida, Executive Director of Broadcasting)

    With General TV as our central pillar of broadcasting, while putting our utmost efforts into delivering reporting which contributes to safety and peace of mind, the start of online continuous simultaneous streaming of broadcasts and a catch-up service will mark a new era as we continue to progress toward being a public service media. We will produce fair and accurate news and programs which act as a guide for society, as well as programming across a range of genres, including entertainment, culture and sports. In terms of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, we will contribute to the excitement around the event through extensive coverage of the competitions and related programs. We will also make programs that will be flagships for NHK and develop digital technology to be used in programs.
    Firstly, I’d like to talk about ‘programming to increase momentum toward hosting the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games’. Covering the attraction of the events, the athletes’ feelings about the Games, the appeal of Tokyo 2020, programs including “2020 Stadium” monthly at 7p.m. on Wednesdays will be broadcast. Live broadcasts of the Olympic Torch Relay, in which more than 10,000 runners will participate, will be featured in programs including “Asa-ichi”, “News Shibu 5 Ji”, “Saturday Studio Park” and “Domo NHK”.
    A major NHK Special series “2030 - Mirai e no Bunkiten (2030 - At a Crossroads to the Future)”, which will be a compass to the 10 years from the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, will begin. The programs will ask the questions of viewers as to what we can do in the decade to provide a certain future for the next generation.
    In the Saturday midnight slot “Yona-yona Lab” will broadcast about once a month. A relaunch of “Tengo-Chan”, which covered themes including music, job hunting and intergenerational communication, utilizing the convergence of broadcasting and the internet, the program will examine solutions for social issues from new perspectives, thinking about new ideas and suggestions along with the viewers.

    Educational TV, with content aimed at children and young people, will improve its programming for those of a wide age range who want to learn and know.
    In the Monday and Tuesday 9p.m. slot, a new program “Start” will be aimed at children who have just entered school and are struggling to adapt to school life, the so-called ‘elementary first grade problem’. From Monday to Thursday in the 6p.m. slot, a new series of “Tensai Terebi Kun (Genius TV Kid)” will begin. It aims to be a program which will help children across the nation learn about life while entertaining them.
    In the Monday to Thursday 11a.m. slot, a new program “Omotenashi Soku-resu Eikaiwa (Omotenashi Quick Response English Conversation)” will teach simple phrases which can be used to interact with overseas visitors to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. In the Friday 9p.m. slot, an English information program “Sekai ni ii ne! Tsubuyaki Eigo (‘Like’ the World! Tweet English)”, which will be based on posts from social network users from around the world, will be launched.

    BS1, appropriately for a channel with sports as one of its mainstays, will deliver programming related to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
    On Sunday evenings, “Sekai wa Tokyo wo Mezasu (The World is Aiming for Tokyo)”, which follows athletes from countries around the world who are aiming for the Olympics, will be relaunched with a 100-minute special, while programs related to the Paralympics, including “Para x Doki! (Parasports Hour!)” and “Takei So no Parasports Shinken Shobu (So Takei’s Parasports – the Real Battle)”, will bring the full excitement of the events to viewers.
    In addition, we will further strengthen our coverage of Japan’s regions. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, some of the best programs made by NHK’s local stations, including “Tohoku Oshi! (Go Tohoku!)” and “Hokkaido Oshi! (Go Hokkaido!)”, will be delivered to raise awareness of the regions.

    BS Premium will deliver a wide range of intellectually-stimulating programs for those looking for distinctive and engaging content. Featuring genres such as history, nature, art, culture and hobbies, it aims to fully satiate viewers.
    In particular, the monthly Saturday evening “Super Premium” programs are large-scale special features of the kind only to be found on BS Premium.
    On weekday evenings, “Dark Side Mystery” takes deep dives into puzzling and terrifying incidents and legends, in a program which has been well received by viewers. And in the 11p.m. evening slot, new programs “Utau Tabi – Hone no Zui Made Todokemasu (Journey of Song – All the Way to the Marrowbone)” and “Regular Bangumi e no Michi (The Road to a Regular Program)” will be broadcast at a time to ease away all the tiredness of the day. And in the 6p.m. slot on Monday to Wednesday, the Taiga drama “Idaten” will be shown again in the run-up to the Olympic Games.

    On BS4K, many of the programs from General TV and BS Premium will be simultaneously broadcast in 4K, allowing for them to be enjoyed even more in ultra-high-definition.
    On weekdays from 7.30a.m., the first morning serial drama to be made in 4K “Yell” will be broadcast simultaneously with BS Premium. The Taiga drama “Awaiting Kirin”, which is broadcast on Sunday morning, will be simultaneously broadcast with General TV in a new 8p.m. slot on Sunday evening.
    Building excitement as we head towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games, from May to July, “Seika (Olympic Torch) Relay Highlights” will be shown on Sunday nights in the midnight slot.
    And on Tuesday evening 9p.m. and Sunday evening 7p.m., a new slot for original 4K programming will be established.
    On BS8K on Sundays, special programs which make full use of 8K ultra-high-definition footage will be broadcast.
    In April, there will be programs on the theme of ‘Discover Japan’, in which the charms of Japan can be rediscovered, while in May some of the best ‘classic ballet’ from around the world will be featured along with programs related to ‘space’.
    For the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the world’s highest standards of broadcasting, with coverage of the most anticipated events by viewers, will deliver an experience for a new era in sports programs.
    With 8K quality filming and recording, efforts will be made to show the future of broadcasting. The NHK Sendai station’s “Shinsai Iko (Disaster Monument)” as we move towards 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the Hiroshima station’s “Genbaku Iko (Atomic Bombing Monument)” as we approach 75 years since the end of World War Two, have been filmed in 8K to raise awareness of ‘8K’s public value’.

    On Radio 1 on weekday mornings, information programming will be relaunched, with “Radio Lab”, which will connect even more deeply with people in their 40s to 60s (the adult generation), being broadcast. And on Friday evenings, a new program “Tobu Kyoshitsu (Flying Classroom)” will be presented by Genichiro Takahashi, who is very popular with the middle-aged generation.
    On Radio 2, new “Russian Language News” and “Thai Language News” programs will begin, with plans to enhance the multi-lingual news zone. And on Thursday and Friday, a new program “Oshaberi na Koten Kyoshitsu (Classical Classroom Chat)” will aim to increase knowledge among the younger generation of how to enjoy classical theater and classical literature.
    On FM Radio, a new music variety show “X (multiply) Classic” will present classical music mixed with various themes, including railways and anime, to allow listeners to easily enjoy the genre.
    NHK’s catchphrase for 2020, when the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held, is 'Chousen ni, respect o (Respect for All)’. And in the new fiscal year, please look forward to significant programming on theme of supporting ‘challenge’ and ‘people who face challenges’, which are scheduled for broadcast.

  • On programming for international broadcasting in the next fiscal year

    (Comments by Satoru Masagaki, Executive Vice President)

    NHK WORLD JAPAN, the international broadcasting channel, will deliver unbiased and impartial information to the world as Japan’s public service media, while meeting the needs of viewers, in the year 2020, when interest in Japan from around the world will suddenly jump.
    “Where We Call Home” looks at what role is played by foreign residents of Japan, whose population has reached a record high of 2.73 million, what difficulties they face and what support is necessary to overcome them, as the country deals with multiculturalism.
    “Deeper Look from NY” talks to experts from various fields about topics including the politics, economy, social problems and culture of the global city of New York, presenting the kind of deep discussions that only specialists can deliver.
    “Doctor’s Insight” examines the field of Japanese medical care, which has been attracting more attention from overseas, taking a concise look into actual healthcare measures and information on cutting-edge medical treatment.
    “Culture Crossroads” looks at issues including topics related to the host towns for athletes at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, useful disaster prevention information for individuals, stories from ambassadors to Japan about what they find impressive about the country, presenting information that helps navigate a multicultural and multi-lingual society.
    On the internet, multi-lingual services utilizing live streaming, VOD and social network platforms to deliver information at the time of disasters are being realized. Automatic translation capabilities for multi-lingual subtitling services using AI are being put into operation, along with other measures, to deliver NHK’s rich content to as many people as possible across the world.

  • Details about the Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida)

    The Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay will start next month on March 26th, beginning in Fukushima Prefecture. NHK will feature scenes from the Olympic Torch Relay, showing the charms of all 47 prefectures, in various programs to build excitement as we move towards the Olympic Games itself.
    On March 12th, a ceremony to light the Olympic Torch will take place at Olympia, Greece. With a live relay from Olympia, footage of the ceremony will be shown in programs including “News 7”. After the relay in Greece is finished, the Olympic Torch will be passed to the Japanese delegation on the 19th, and then finally arrive at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force Matsushima Base in Miyagi Prefecture on the 20th. Footage from this will also be broadcast live.
    And then on March 26th, the torch relay will begin in Japan. Footage from the ceremony to be held at Fukushima Prefecture’s J Village, a symbol of recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, and of departure of the first runners, the Japan women’s national soccer team, will also be broadcast. Then a special program focused on the notable points of Olympic Torch Relay will be shown from 7.30p.m.
    New Olympic Torch Relay highlights programs will also be broadcast. One of these will be “Olympic Torch Relay Daily Highlights”. This will be five minutes of the best of the day’s relay shown every evening of the week. And there will be a weekly “Seika (Olympic Torch) 50 Voice” broadcast, which will feature ’50 voices’ from the relay runners and their supporters, along with people of the towns through which the relay will pass. And ultra-high-definition 4K footage will be shown weekly on BS4K in “Olympic Torch Relay Highlights”. There will also be live broadcasts on programs including “News Shibu 5 Ji” and the afternoon talk show “Gogo Nama”, as well as live streaming on the NHK Tokyo 2020 Olympic Site from NHK Online, delivering the Olympic Torch Relay in a variety of ways.

  • Programs related to the Great East Japan Earthquake

    (Comments by Satoru Masagaki)

    March 11th will mark nine years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. NHK will this year in March again broadcast multiple programs related to the Great East Japan Earthquake.

    On General TV, there are five NHK Specials scheduled to be broadcast on the days around March 11th.

    One of these is “‘Shisha Zero’ o Mezase – Digital Shin-Jidai no Joho Hasshin to wa (Aiming for ‘Zero Deaths’ – Information Transmission in the New Digital Age)” on the 8th, which is a multi-organizational feature collaboration between NHK, Fuji Television and Yahoo, where fellow media organizations will work together and look deeply at ways to reduce the number of victims during disasters by as many as possible.

    And on the 11th, there will be a three-hour live disaster special edition of “Gogo Nama” broadcast. Guests from the northeast region will talk about their experiences and memories, while there will be live relays and recorded segments from the affected areas to show the situation there, as well as the state of the recovery and the challenges still being faced. As part of that, there will be a relay from the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), featuring memorials to the disaster filmed in 8K, as well as footage from NHK’s archives and models of rebuilt towns which were destroyed by the disaster. During the program, there will also be coverage of official disaster memorial ceremonies.

  • On verification of actors

    (Comments by Yukinori Kida)

    Last year, there were a number of regrettable incidents involving actors appearing in the Taiga historical drama and the broadcasting of “Awaiting Kirin” was delayed, causing a great deal of inconvenience to all our viewers. The responsive measures regarding that have been established and I would like to explain them. For NHK regular programs in the next fiscal year, including the Taiga historical drama and morning serial drama, regarding actors who will appear frequently, before official contracts are signed, written confirmation that they are not involved with illegal drugs or anti-social forces will have to be received. In terms of drugs, going forward, actors will sign pledges that they will not be convicted for such a criminal offense, and there is nothing that would lead them to being investigated on suspicion of use, and that they are not currently using nor in possession of illegal substances. As for not being involved with anti-social forces, that is included in the contracts will also be confirmed before they are signed. NHK, as a public service broadcaster, cannot condone any type of anti-social behavior. For actors, those matters have been checked up to now through their agencies, but by introducing new measures, NHK will carry out the confirmation process more strictly.