Comments from the Top (Executive Director of Broadcasting)
Summary of Press Conference (July, 2021)
On the matters related to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games
(Comments by MASAGAKI Satoru, Executive Director of Broadcasting)
On the occasion of the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
It is just two days until the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games. Today was the first day of competition, and the opening game of Japan’s softball game was broadcast live this morning. The Olympics will be held while Tokyo, under its fourth state of emergency, continues to fight against the new coronavirus. There will be no spectators at many venues. Through our broadcasting and other services, we would like to deliver images and thoughts of athletes who, despite these difficult circumstances, will be pushing beyond their limits to show the results of the efforts they have made. But at the same time, as we have announced on a number of occasions, we will continue to report the latest information on the coronavirus through news and other programs. Since the beginning of July, there have been disasters caused by heavy rains in various areas. The typhoon season is nearing, so people need to continue to be vigilant against damage from wind and rain, as well as heat stroke. If there is any important news related to people’s safety and security, we will respond in a flexible manner.
Online public viewing, and the “Sekai o Oen Shiyo! (Let’s Cheer for the World!)” project
With most of the Olympic events being held without spectators, I will talk about two initiatives NHK is trying out to let viewers show their support. The first is online public viewing. Around 50 participants such as people involved with the events, athletes and the opponents of Japanese competitors, are invited to participate in an online conference system to watch and cheer the athletes with the host, commentators, and guests. Some of this will be shown during broadcasts of the events, with people cheering from their living rooms shown around the country. The first one took place this morning during the Japan versus Australia softball game. Participants included children from a softball team in Fukushima prefecture, where the game took place, and people from Ota City, Gunma prefecture, which supported the Australian team by hosting its pre-Games training camp. And two Olympians, softball player SATO Rie and badminton player OGURA Kumiko, participated as special guests. The two guests took questions directly from other participants and talked about topics including their memories of competing in the Olympics, creating a new type of interactive experience online. During the Olympics and Paralympics, online public viewing events will be held a total of approximately 10 times. We will invite parents and children to participate in some of these events. The “Sekai o Oen Shiyo! (Let’s Cheer for the World!)” project will also be shown on screens in the Olympic village to show support from the host country Japan to the athletes who are competing in venues without spectators. And the videos will of course be shown in NHK broadcasts and on our homepage. Video submissions will be accepted until the end of August, so we hope that many people will send them in, cheering not only for Japanese athletes but also for those from overseas.
On the broadcast schedule for Major League Baseball
(Comments by KOIKE Hideo, Deputy Executive Director of Broadcasting)
I will explain about the broadcasts of Major League Baseball (MLB) during the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. A lot of Japanese players, including of course OHTANI Shohei, are playing in the MLB, and many people have said they want to watch the games. So, we have arranged to show around seven baseball games in the period until the Paralympics finish, mostly in the hours before the coverage of the Olympic and Paralympic events begin. First up will be the game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Minnesota Twins, which will be shown on BS1 on July 26th from 3.05a.m. Following on from that, we will usually announce the broadcast schedule three or four days in advance, taking into account which teams are playing and other factors.
On the broadcast schedule for the Program Development Zone on General TV in August and September
(Comments by MASAGAKI Satoru)
The primetime hours on General TV have been set as a Program Development Zone for “Pursuing NHK’s new identity” and from May to July, a diverse range of programming has been broadcast. August and September will be the third stage of this initiative and 15 programs covering a wide range of subjects will be broadcast. “Futari no Distance” is a documentary to be broadcast on August 16th that focuses on the bonds between two people. It is a new program that will be shown against the background of the pandemic, which has restricted interactions between people. Appearing on the show will be TASSIN Shima, who is known as a ‘legendary housekeeper’, and her husband TASSIN Roman. The theme song will be “Canary” by YONEZU Kenshi, who wrote it in response to the pandemic and has given his permission for it to be used for the program. The title credits have been created by SUZUKI Toshio, producer at the animation firm Studio Ghibli. In August, there will also be a program called “Shokuba Isan –Soko ni Nemuru Takara Sagashi”, which will search for treasures in company warehouses and tell the stories of the hidden knowledge, sweat and tears of our predecessors. Other programs in the diverse line up for August will include “Konya no Hitorigoto”, in which actor MURO Tsuyoshi will respond to tweets from viewers in a live broadcast. In September, “1-miri Kakumei” will look at problems and issues of everyday life and look for hints to solutions through various types of ‘social experiments’. In addition, the second episodes of “Itoshi no Chikyu Hour”, “Hey! Monju! - Mayoeru Watashi ni Kyoyo o” and “Minna Pascal!”, which were broadcast in May, will be shown. “Minna Pascal!” has been renamed “Hasso Tenkan! Sekai o Kaeru Thin-king” for its second episode and the content has also been revised.
On “Minna de Tsukurou SDGs Karuta” project
(Comments by WAKAIZUMI Hisaaki, Deputy Executive Director of Broadcasting)
The ‘NHK for School’ website supports learning and provides a variety of content for parents and children to learn about SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in a fun and open environment. The site began inviting submissions from July for the “Minna de Tsukurou SDGs Karuta” project, with the catchphrase ‘Let’s learn about SDGs at NHK for School!’ People can learn about SDGs from the videos on the ‘NHK for School’ site and create their own original karuta (a traditional Japanese card game) that express their own goals and aims through senryu poems and pictures. There are video clips for the 17 goals available on the ‘Hirogare! Iro Tori-dori’ website, so people can learn and understand more about the goals they are interested in. Details about how to make a submission can be found on the ‘Hirogare! Iro Tori-dori’ website. As well as submissions from the public, we are also hoping that elementary schools across the country will use the project as part of their studies in class and at home. Submitted ideas will be shown on the children’s SDGs program “Ao Kiro” on Educational TV for three days from August 11th, and then from October onwards, they are scheduled to be displayed on the ‘Hirogare! Iro Tori-dori’ website. And an online workshop event will be held where people can create ‘SDGs karuta’ together with readers and reporters of children’s newspapers. ‘NHK for School’ ambassadors DEGAWA Tetsuro and YAMANOUCHI Suzu will also take part in the workshop and make cards together with everyone. KANIE Norichika, who is in charge of SDGs on ‘Hirogare! Iro Tori-dori’, will teach participants about SDGs in an enjoyable way. The event will be shown on NHK, and be open to the media.
On the broadcast dates for the Taiga historical drama and the morning serial drama
(Comments by WAKAIZUMI Hisaaki)
The dates for the final episodes of the current Taiga historical drama “Seiten o Tsuke (Reach Beyond the Blue Sky)” and the morning serial drama “Okaeri Mone (Welcome Back, Mone)”, as well as for the first episode for the next morning serial drama “Kamu Kamu Eburibadei (Come Come Everybody)” have all been decided. The 41st and last episode of “Seiten o Tsuke (Reach Beyond the Blue Sky)” will air at 8p.m. on Sunday December 26th. And the next Taiga drama “Kamakura-dono no 13-nin (The 13 Lords of the Shogun)” is scheduled to start broadcasting in January 2022. We will announce more details when they have been decided. The final episode of the current morning drama “Okaeri Mone (Welcome Back, Mone)” will air on Friday October 29th. A recap of the final week of the drama will be broadcast the following day on Saturday October 30th. It will have run for a total of 24 weeks. And the following week, from 8a.m. on Monday November 1st, “Kamu Kamu Eburibadei (Come Come Everybody)”, produced by the NHK Osaka Regional Headquarters, will begin. The total number of episodes has not been decided at this stage.