Comments from the Top (Executive Director of Broadcasting)
Summary of Press Conference (February, 2021)
On programming for domestic broadcasting in the next fiscal year
(Comments by MASAGAKI Satoru, Executive Director of Broadcasting)
The new fiscal year from April will be the start of the new three-year corporate plan, with its key concept of ‘Pursuing NHK’s new identity’. Through broadcasting and other services, we will implement key initiatives of ‘Supporting safety and security’, ‘Embracing the challenges of a new era’, ‘Delivering information far and wide’ and ‘Contributing to society’. ‘Supporting safety and security’ means delivering ‘safety and security’ as well as a variety of content that is accurate, high-quality, and diverse to everyone via broadcasting and the internet. On Fridays, General TV will reflect our efforts to further strengthen the business continuity plan (BCP) of the Osaka Regional Headquarters. By having most of Friday’s daytime programming come from the Osaka Regional Headquarters, we will further enhance and strengthen its function as a back-up to the NHK Broadcasting Center in Tokyo and reporting of regional information. The Osaka Regional Headquarters will produce two programs: the evening news program “News Kin 5-ji” and “Kyo Koto Hajime” which will be broadcast live from Kyoto and towns and cities around the country referred to as ‘Little Kyoto’. The Sunday 10 a.m. slot will feature a new program “Ashita o Mamoru Navi (How to Protect Tomorrow)”. Based on reporting from NHK stations across the country on disaster prevention, disaster mitigation and recovery efforts, it will promote thinking about how to live safely in disaster-prone Japan. ‘Embracing the challenges of a new era’ involves the change from managing programs by channel to managing by genre. Where there is overlap between programs, there will be reorganization and reduction. High quality content will be delivered at a reasonable cost, and the value of broadcasting and services maximized.
On General TV, we have set the primetime hours as a Program Development Zone for ‘Pursuing NHK’s new identity’. Around 50 programs a year will be produced. While giving our younger staff more chance to realize their ideas, the aim is to create the next generation of flagship programs.
In order to further promote the use of ‘NHK for School’, educational content mainly for elementary and junior high school students, Educational TV will establish a new 5 p.m. slot, when students are returning home from school. A new program series on SDGs, “Hirogare! Irotori-dori (Be Colorful for the World!)” will be launched in the Monday 7 p.m. slot．Quiz programs using video clips and programs with presentations to help children face social issues and find solutions will be broadcast. And in response to the new National Curriculum Standards, ‘NHK for School’ will feature a new program “Tsukuranka (Let’s Make It!)” to develop problem finding and solving skills in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) subjects.
The “Kokusai Hodo (International News Report) 2021” program will broadcast at 10 p.m. on BS1 and in a late-night slot on General TV.
On BS Premium, a 4K remastered version of the “PROJECT X – Challengers” series, which was very well received when it was broadcast from 2000 to 2005, will be shown on Tuesdays at 9 p.m.
We are increasing the number of 4K versions of BS Premium programs that will be simultaneously broadcast on BS4K. ‘Delivering information far and wide’ will see a strengthening of linkage between Educational TV programs and internet content to connect more with the younger generation. We aim to realize a diverse society by further enhancing ‘universal’ broadcasting and services that can be enjoyed by everyone, including efforts to add sign language to existing programs. ‘Contributing to Society’ will include making the most of NHK’s strengths in having a national network to encourage regional development.
On General TV, “NHK Chiiki-kyoku Hatsu (From NHK’s Local Stations)” will continue in the weekday 10 a.m. slot, and “Retto News (News From Across the Archipelago)” in the 1 p.m. slot will be expanded by 15 minutes to deliver the latest news in-depth from regions.
On BS1, a new Saturday 5 p.m. slot ‘Chiiki Kyoku Renkei Kaihatsu Zone (Zone for Collaborative Program Development) with Local Stations’ will be launched to develop new innovative programs in which, for example, multiple local stations cooperate to look for solutions to problems. The weekday 11 p.m. slot “BS News 4K + Furusato (Hometown)” will feature reports from the regions.
As for the Tokyo and Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games scheduled to take place in the next fiscal year, we will maintain the highest standards of broadcasting and services, be aware of the risks of the new coronavirus, and provide services suited to the situation mainly on General TV and BS1. ‘Tokyo 2020’ will be an unprecedented event that aims to be held with measures for preventing the spread of the new coronavirus.
BS8K will fulfil its role of contributing to society by recording cultural assets and art in the highest quality possible so they can be preserved for the future.
On the radio channels
(Comments by WAKAIZUMI Hisaaki, Deputy Executive Director of Broadcasting)
Radio 1, the main channel for promoting safety and security, will broadcast important information accurately. And in the weekday, the 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. slots will be positioned as an ‘entertainment zone’ that can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages with programs featuring new presenters such as “Sakura Hinata Lotti no Nobishiro Radio”. It features two female idol groups ‘Sakurazaka46’ and ‘Hinatazaka46’, and the comedy duo ‘Lotti’. The catch-up service is also being enhanced.
Radio 2, as a channel for life-long learning, will deliver a variety of programs to satisfy intellectual curiosity. To accompany the new National Curriculum Standards, the content of the English-learning program “Kiso Eigo (Basic English) Series” will be adjusted and improved, while a new program for everyday communication in Korean “Step-up Hangul Koza (Improve Korean Course)” will also be launched. We will also link up with internet services to provide opportunities to learn ‘anytime, anywhere’.
On FM Radio, programs of various music and entertainment genres will be organized in a well-balanced manner to meet the expectations of listeners. The Tuesday 11 p.m. slot will feature HIDE from pop group ‘GReeeeN’ as the presenter of a talk show, while a new “Discover Queen” program about the rock group ‘Queen’ will run for a year in the Sunday 9 p.m. slot.
On the date for the start of the morning serial drama
(Comments by WAKAIZUMI Hisaaki)
The next morning serial drama “Okaeri Mone (Welcome Home, Mone)” will start on May 17th. The total number of episodes has not yet been decided. The final episode of the current morning serial drama “Ochoyan” will be on May 14th, with a look back at the series scheduled for the 15th.
On data broadcasts and the internet
(Comments by MASAGAKI Satoru)
Data broadcast services will continue to deliver safety and security information. For sports events, the results of games and matches, along with some highlights, will be delivered to satisfy everyone’s interest. In response to many requests, captions will be displayed on a section of the screen separate from the main picture on BS4K and BS8K. A selection of programs from the Osaka Regional Headquarters and other regional and local stations will be streamed on the ‘NHK Plus’ internet service. And services with high public value and of much interest to viewers will be provided on sites such as ‘NHK NEWS WEB’, ‘NHK Sports’, ‘NHK News - Bosai (Disaster Prevention) App’ and ‘NHK Kenko (Health) Channel’.
The next fiscal year will be one where NHK moves ahead with ambitious reforms while ‘Pursuing a new identity’ as it progresses towards becoming a trusted and essential ‘public service media organization’. In order to fully engage with all our viewers and build even more trust, we will continue to provide accurate and impartial information and pursue rich, high-quality broadcasting and services.
On programming for international broadcasting in the next fiscal year
(Comments by KOIKE Hideo, Deputy Executive Director of Broadcasting)
As a Japanese public service media organization, NHK’s international broadcasts will deliver accurate and impartial information from a Japanese and Asian perspective. NHK WORLD-JAPAN, with both its news and other programming, will work to help overcome the danger of the new coronavirus and to realize a sustainable society, as well as present the appeals of Japan’s culture and regions. Here are some of the new major programs.
“Zero Waste Life” is one of the programs related to the SDGs. With a theme of ‘living without waste’, it will present hints on actions that can be taken for us to secure the future of the earth.
“BOSAI: Science that Can Save Your Life” will present knowledge and research on disaster prevention and disaster mitigation that has been accumulated in Japan, a country where many natural disasters occur.
“Japan’s Top Inventions”, a program which features the secret stories behind Japanese technology and products that are known around the world, is being expanded from 15 minutes to 28 minutes.
“Magical Japanese” presents the richness and depth of the Japanese language.
On programs related to the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake
(Comments by KOIKE Hideo)
NHK and five key Japanese commercial networks are working together on a disaster prevention project. Using a joint slogan of ‘Kioku, tomo ni Mirai e (With Memories, to the Future Together)’, each of the networks is producing documentaries and other programming. To learn from the unprecedented earthquake, and pass on what we have experienced to the next generation, each of the networks will cooperate with each other across the board, including mutual use of video materials. NHK will produce a special feature program, which will bring together reporters from NHK and the commercial networks who covered the disaster to discuss what is necessary to protect lives. The program is scheduled for broadcast on March 14th. NHK will also broadcast a number of feature programs around March 11th, on General TV and other channels. On General TV, the afternoon live talk show “Gogo Nama Shinsai 10-nen Tokushu (Gogo Nama – 10-Year Disaster Anniversary Special)” will feature guests with connections to the affected northeast region, including actor NISHIDA Toshiyuki, who will talk about their personal experiences and memories. Through live broadcasts and video clips, the program will look at the current situation in the area, the state of recovery and the prospects for the future.
In “Ongaku de Kokoro o Hitotsu ni (Bringing People Together Through Music) – Music for Tomorrow”, artists from Japan and around the world who were quick to support the affected areas with their music and messages after the disaster will perform songs that appeal for us to join hands across borders at this time when there are natural disasters occur frequently and the coronavirus spreads around the world.
On the ‘NHK Plus’ service there will be a “#Shinsai 10-nen (10 Years Since the Disaster)” playlist featuring news, documentaries, dramas and other related programs available for streaming and catch-up for a week after broadcasts. And programs aired over the last 10 years will also be distributed under different themes such as ‘Tsunami’, ‘Children’ and ‘Fukushima’.
On “Tanken! Kyodai Museum no Butai-ura – Kokuritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan Odoroki no Sekai (Explore! Behind the Scenes at Major Museums - National Museum of Nature and Science – An Incredible World)”
(Comments by WAKAIZUMI Hisaaki)
“Tanken! Kyodai Museum no Butai-ura – Kokuritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan Odoroki no Sekai (Explore! Behind the Scenes at Major Museums - National Museum of Nature and Science – An Incredible World)” will be broadcast on BS Premium in March. The National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo is not only a historic museum, but also a ‘museum that evolves’ where researchers reflect the latest research in their exhibits. The two-hour program shows the fascinating appeal of the Museum, including untold stories of scientific discoveries revealed through exhibits of carnivorous dinosaurs and stuffed extinct animals.