Comments from the Top (Executive Director of Broadcasting)
Summary of Press Conference (May, 2021)
On the response to Japan’s COVID-19 state of emergency
(Comments by MASAGAKI Satoru, Executive Director of Broadcasting)
The Japanese government has expanded the coronavirus state of emergency to nine prefectures. The number
of prefectures subject to priority measures to prevent the spread of infections has also been increased.
As virus variants continue to spread quickly, the number of patients with serious symptoms is hitting
new daily highs, and the situation is becoming more severe.
NHK launched the ‘Shin-gata Corona Inochi o Mamoru Kodo o’ campaign in January and has been making
various calls for action to protect lives through news and other programs. We have broadcast 45 mini
programs so far, including 5 on topics which people are most concerned about, the threat from virus
variants and the issue of side effects from vaccinations. Other mini programs have presented urgent
messages from frontline medical personnel and useful information on infection prevention measures based
on the latest findings. To reach the younger generation, we have uploaded the mini programs to online
video sites. Moving forward, we will continue to deliver information about the pandemic from various
An “NHK Special” on the 2nd of this month “Shin-gata Corona Dai-4-pa Heni Virus no Kyoi”
was a live broadcast from Osaka, where the infection had spread quickly. Next week on the 23rd, an
episode of the “Pandemic Gekido no Sekai” series will report on the unprecedented difficulties that
nursing care is facing. On the 11th of this month, we moved the broadcast of “Close-up Gendai+” to an
earlier than usual time to bring viewers the latest reports on how to deal with the coronavirus
variants. Going forward, special programs related to the new coronavirus will continue to be broadcast.
Such programs and news will also be available on the NHK Plus online catch-up service.
And on the ‘NHK News - Bosai App’ and ‘NHK NEWS WEB’ there are special pages with information about
vaccination, which many people are accessing every day. We are constantly updating the contents to
respond to our viewers’ interests and questions, including various data from Japan and overseas, and Q&A
style articles on effects and side effects of vaccination. The vaccination status for each prefecture
has been visualized since yesterday with a new graph showing the daily and total vaccination numbers.
The app and website also provide detailed information on the process of getting vaccinated and how to
make an appointment.
We also provide the latest news and information through our international service NHK WORLD-JAPAN, as
well as via social media. NHK will continue to do its best to deliver accurate information promptly and
to prevent the spread of infections. And in terms of program production and reporting, we will continue
to thoroughly implement infection prevention measures.
On NHK Special “2030 Mirai e no Bunkiten”
(Comments by KOIKE Hideo, Deputy Executive Director of
I would like to introduce the “NHK Special” series “2030 Mirai e no Bunkiten” which will be broadcast
in June and July. The two episodes will examine what impact rapidly advancing technologies will have on
us. The series began in January this year and will be the second season. As with the first season,
actress MORI Nana will be presenting this look into the future of our world. On June 6th, the fourth
episode “’Kami no Ryoiki’ e no Chosen – Genome Technology no Hikari to Kage” will be broadcast. It will
look at biotechnology, the advancement of which has been accelerated during the novel coronavirus
pandemic. It is said that by 2030, the cost of genome sequencing will be close to zero and that we will
be able to access the genetic information of all forms of life. What will happen when we are able to
control life, which until now has been left to nature? Reporting from the frontlines, the program will
examine how we can deal with the benefits and dangers of technology. And the fifth episode “’Akuma no
Rendezvous’ – AI to Gunji Gekihen suru Senso” is scheduled for broadcast on July 4th. It will portray
how AI (artificial intelligence), which is affecting every aspect of our lives, is drastically changing
warfare. Following on from gunpowder and nuclear weapons, the use of military AI is said to be the
‘third revolution in warfare’. In addition to AI-equipped drones and tanks, which have already begun to
be deployed, AI is on its way to being at the heart of the military in areas such as strategy planning
and troop decision-making. How will the use of military AI change warfare? Please watch this NHK Special
“2030 Mirai e no Bunkiten”, which will look at the latest in arms development and use simulations to
predict what will happen in the future.
On BS Premium and BS4K “Ii Iju-!!”
(Comments by WAKAIZUMI Hisaaki, Deputy Executive Director of
Firstly, I will talk about the “Ii Iju-!!” feature program, which will be broadcast on BS Premium and
BS4K over two weeks. This documentary program will look at people who use moving to another area as a
chance to search for and realize a new lifestyle. The town of Ogawa in Saitama prefecture, about an hour
and a half by train from Tokyo, is a popular destination for people who want to move to a different
area. Goto City, Nagasaki, in the Goto Islands, at the western most point of Kyushu, is also a popular
destination. One family moved there from Fukuoka prefecture because the restaurant they run had to shut
down due to the pandemic. The program follows the life of the family, who decided to move to this new
location to find happiness. “Ii Iju-!!” will be broadcast on June 1st and 8th from 7.30p.m.
On Educational TV “Naresome TV”
(Comments by WAKAIZUMI Hisaaki)
Another program is a feature “Naresome TV”, which will be broadcast on Educational TV on June 2nd from
10p.m. Through the case of how one couple fell in love, this chat show looks at different ways of living
and thinking, as well as at the different kinds of values people have.