Comments from the Top (Executive Director of Broadcasting)
Summary of Press Conference (March, 2021)
On the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay
(Comments by MASAGAKI Satoru, Executive Director of Broadcasting)
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay begins on March 25th. For the approximately 10,000 torch relay runners across the nation, this is the event they have been waiting for after a yearlong delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. NHK, in cooperation with the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, will be filming all of the torch relay. That footage will be used for broadcasts and internet streaming every day. A ceremony marking the start of the relay will be shown in a special news program. In the evening, a special program is scheduled to feature people from Fukushima prefecture, where the relay begins, and some of the athletes aiming to compete at the Games. There will also be a five-minute digest “Seika Relay Daily Highlight” broadcast every day, and the NHK's Tokyo 2020 Olympic website will carry live streaming of the relay. In addition, local stations will show footage of the relay in their areas on the news and other programs. Our international service NHK WORLD-JAPAN will also deliver information about the relay to the world. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is asking people along the route of the relay to avoid close contact with other people, to watch the relay from near people’s own homes and not to travel to other prefectures to watch it. It is also asking people to as much as possible watch the relay on NHK’s live stream. Please support the relay runners by watching on television and the internet.
On new programs for the new fiscal year
(Comments by MASAGAKI Satoru)
Programs for the new fiscal year will start from next week. The key initiatives laid out in the new three-year corporate plan ‘Supporting safety and security’, ‘Embracing the challenges of a new era’, ‘Delivering information far and wide’, and ‘Contributing to society’ will be realized through broadcasting and services, as we continue to pursue a new identity.
Firstly, as a public service media, we are running a campaign ‘Mirai e 17 Action’ as part of our efforts to address issues related to achieving the SDGs, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by member states of the United Nations. One of the initiatives will be the program “Hirogare! Iro tori-dori” which will launch on Educational TV. This is a series of three programs aimed at helping children learn about the SDGs, and there will be one broadcast each week.
The first one, to be broadcast on March 29th, is “DEGAWA Tetsuro no Quiz hou School”, which will use video from the ‘NHK for School’ website in an educational quiz format. The ‘NHK for School’ website has over 9,000 educational videos for elementary and junior high school students, and various videos about the SDGs can be seen there.
The program for the second week will be “Boku-doko”, which will provide children, who will be responsible for a sustainable future, with a fun way to learn about how an object is made, used, and recycled or trashed.
The third’s week program will be “Oen! Minna no Challenge”. Elementary and junior high school students around the country will present ideas for realizing a sustainable society.
For the program “Hirogare! Iro tori-dori” there are various other plans, and the characters ‘Ao’ and ‘Kii’ will act as guides and provide information.
Also, YAMANOUCHI Suzu and DEGAWA Tetsuro will be the presenters for ‘NHK for School’. They will show the appeal of ‘NHK for School’ in various ways. The GIGA School Program, which aims to provide one internet-connected device for each elementary and junior high school student, will fully begin in the new school year, and we hope that ‘NHK for School’ will support children’s learning in this system.
The next new program is on the initiative ‘safety and security’. “Ashita o Mamoru Navi” on General TV will present the latest research on measures to protect lives and livelihoods using NHK’s worldwide network. The episode on April 4th will look at how people can learn about the dangers of where they live, and feature an initiative by the citizens of Kumano town in Hiroshima prefecture, who created their own evacuation map. The program on the 11th is due to cover evacuation from flooding, while the program on the 18th is due to look at stockpiling supplies of water and food.
Continuing on, I will talk about programs produced by the Osaka Regional Headquarters. NHK announcer TAKETA Shinichi and various guests will deliver unique lively information and news from Osaka to the whole country in the program “News Kin 5-ji”. In the first program, scheduled to be broadcast on April 2nd, KOYABU Kazutoyo will be the guest and feature stories of some of the leading personalities of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. And in a segment introducing the philosophy of life of outstanding people from around the nation, a 90-year-old woman who is an expert at a trading company specializing in screws will be featured.
In the new “Rekishi Tantei” program to be broadcast on Wednesday every week, actor SATO Jiro will play the role of a leader of a detective agency that conducts in-depth investigations to unravel mysteries hidden in historical sites. The first program will look at the reality behind the ‘Sankin Kotai’ system of the Edo period, in which feudal lords had to reside in the capital every other year. The second program will look behind the scenes at the elegant ancient capital of Kyoto. The third episode will uncover the truth behind the Battle of Sekigahara, one of the most important events in Japanese history.
On NHK Special programs “Gekido Myanmar – Shimin-tachi no Digital Resistance” and “Kazoku ga Saigo o Kimeru toki – Noushi-ishoku Inochi o Meguru Hibi”
(Comments by KOIKE Hideo, Deputy Executive Director of Broadcasting)
I will talk about two NHK Special programs to be broadcast next month.
On April 4th, “Gekido Myanmar – Shimin-tachi no Digital Resistance” will be broadcast. In Myanmar, protests by young people and strikes by public workers have continued since the military coup in February. Myanmar’s security forces have repeatedly fired on demonstrators causing hundreds of deaths. As violence escalated, activists are using the internet and social media to call on citizens to join the anti-coup protests. The military is responding by blocking internet services. In the program, NHK uses its network to report on the young people, public workers and those with connections to the military to examine the fight on the internet and social media and explore the future of the situation in Myanmar.
Another NHK Special program discusses families and brain death. In the 10 years since the enactment of the Revised Organ Transplant Act, which has made it possible for an individual to donate organs under family consent, the number of organ donations has increased. However, very little has been discussed about the difficulties within families in reaching their decisions. Our team of reporters conducted interviews of families of the donor to tell the untold stories of the difficult decisions they made. A video related to this program has been viewed more than 7 million times. NHK Special “Kazoku ga Saigo o Kimeru toki” is scheduled for broadcast on April 11th.
On “Self-portrait Watashi no Fukei”
(Comments by WAKAIZUMI Hisaaki, Deputy Executive Director of Broadcasting)
I will talk about “Self-portrait Watashi no Fukei”, which will be broadcast on Educational TV. The program looks into the feelings of teenagers through images shot by the teenagers themselves. We plan to make about three episodes a year. The first one, scheduled to be broadcast on Educational TV on April 29th from 10.55 p.m., will feature students who entered university last year. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, they were unable to go to campus, spent a lot of their time alone, and are feeling anxious about the uncertainty of the new academic year. Three teenagers will use self-shot videos to record themselves asking and answering questions.
On “Nama Chukei! Hitome Senbon Yoshino no Sakura”
(Comments by WAKAIZUMI Hisaaki)
NHK is offering a virtual cherry blossom viewing experience on “Nama Chukei! Hitome Senbon Yoshino no Sakura”. The program will broadcast live from Mount Yoshino in Nara prefecture, where an estimated 30,000 cherry trees cover the mountain. The impressive scale and exceptional beauty of the cherry blossoms will be presented in high-definition video. Guitarist OSHIO Kotaro will also give a performance. A simultaneous live broadcast will be on BS Premium and BS4K on Saturday April 10th from 7 p.m.