Comments from the Top (NHK President)

Summary of Press Conference (December, 2019)

  • On the ‘Experience – Earthquake Directly Beneath Tokyo week’

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda, president)

    One part of the campaign 'Saigai Retto Ikiru Skill (Survival skills in disaster-prone Japan)', which NHK has been putting a great deal of effort into since September, "Taikan – Shuto Chokka Jishin (Experience – Earthquake Directly Beneath Tokyo) Week" has begun. For eight days from December 1st to 8th, seven related NHK Special programs will be presented, delivering life-saving information from various angles. As we work in cooperation with local authorities and companies, on December 2nd, drills were held at the headquarters of the Shibuya City Disaster Prevention Planning Division, along with drills in various locations. The "Tokyo Parallel" drama being shown for four consecutive evenings is utilizing both broadcasting and social media together as part of efforts to make people think about disasters as something that could directly impact them.
    Going forward, NHK will continue transmitting information which would be useful at the time of a disaster through the ‘Survival skills in disaster-prone Japan’ campaign, fulfilling our role as a public service media.

  • On the ‘2020’ catchphrase

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    We are rapidly approaching the year 2020. As next year will see the opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, NHK has created a catchphrase to encapsulate the message it wants to deliver to all its viewers via the various broadcast channels and services it will employ. That catchphrase is ‘Chousen ni, respect o (Respect for All)’.
    The concept is the notion of respect that many people have for the challenges that athletes undertake, and also includes the idea that we would like people to be respectful to all those around them and the challenges they face. I think that to have respect for all challenges equally, those of athletes, neighbors or people in faraway countries, is a step towards finding a solution to many of the problems facing society today, including divisiveness, discrimination and confrontation. If many people adopt that way of thinking, then it will be one of NHK’s legacies of 2020 as a public service media to have left that mark on society through our broadcasting and services.
    In concrete terms, from the start of the new year, this catchphrase will be used not only with regard to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but in various programming, including in mini-programs designed to impart its meaning, posters for programs and events, as well as on the NHK website.
    In 2020, we would like this catchphrase to accompany unforgettable portrayals of people taking on challenges in order to deliver this message to our viewers.

  • Looking back at the 56th ABU (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union) General Assembly

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    This year’s ABU General Assembly, the 56th edition, was held in Tokyo for the first time in nine years. Including the Associated Meetings, the event was held from November 17th to 22nd, and more than 600 people participated, including the heads of broadcast networks and other related personnel.
    I was appointed president of the ABU at last year’s General Assembly in Turkmenistan and this was my first meeting as head of the organization. The keynote address on the first day was on the theme of ‘Progressing to a public service media’, where I talked about multi-platform disaster reporting encompassing broadcasting and the internet, and the efforts being made by NHK to build trust in the media, as well as exchanging opinions with the panelists. An ‘NHK Showcase’ was on display at the venue, presenting NHK’s latest technology and production knowhow as it relates to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held next year. Lively feedback from participants included comments such as ‘I was surprised at the immersive qualities of 8K’ and ‘We would definitely like to learn about NHK’s pioneering initiatives’.
    In addition, the ABU Prizes Award Ceremony, at which awards are given to outstanding programs, was held, along with the ABU TV Song Festival, which is aimed at promoting interaction with the entertainment sector as a way of developing broadcast culture. Coverage of the Song Festival is scheduled to be broadcast on General TV on December 28th from 11p.m.
    This year’s General Assembly was a meaningful opportunity for broadcast networks to share information and strengthen ties, along with spreading knowledge of NHK’s initiatives. We hope that this interaction between members and learning from each other will open up ways to find clues as to what shape the future of broadcasting will take. Utilizing the experience of the General Assembly in Tokyo, NHK will make efforts to build closer ties with the ABU and broadcasters around the world, and contribute to the improvement of global broadcasting culture.

  • BS4K and BS8K programming for the year-end and New Year period

    (Comments by Ryoichi Ueda)

    From December 1st, NHK BS4K and BS8K will enter their second year of broadcasting. According to industry group The Association for Promotion of Advanced Broadcasting Services (A-PAB), at the end of October there were more than 2.18 million devices out there which can receive 4K and 8K broadcasts, and the formats are continuing to become widespread. NHK will continue to work with commercial broadcasters, electronics manufacturers and relevant organizations to take a lead role in helping to spread the formats.
    So that as many people as possible can enjoy 4K and 8K, a wide range of content will be broadcast over the year-end and New Year period.
    On December 21st, the NHK Symphony Orchestra’s traditional year-end performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony will be broadcast live in 8K, while on the 30th, the third Special 8K drama "A Stranger in Shanghai” will be shown.
    November saw the first live broadcast in 60 years on NHK of a world title boxing match for Naoya Inoue’s fight, which was shown on BS8K. And on December 23rd, Ryota Murata’s world title fight will be shown live on BS8K.
    The NHK Kohaku Utagassen (Red-and-White Year-End Song Festival) will also be broadcast on BS4K and BS8K. Providing a different perspective from regular 2K broadcasts, views of the revolving stage will be delivered, allowing the audience at home to feel as if they are actually in the venue. Please enjoy the Kohaku Utagassen in ultra-high-definition. There are also scheduled to be public viewings at the Lumine Zero space in Shinjuku, Tokyo, as well as at some NHK stations around the country.
    On BS8K in December, the theme will be 'Bringing it back to life in 8K! You too are an eyewitness to history', delivering programming in which important footage and images are restored in 8K. One of these will be “Koko made Mieru! 8K de Yomigaeru Bakumatsu; Meiji no Nihon (You Can See as Much as This! Japan in the Final Days of the Tokugawa Shogunate and Meiji Restoration)”, which will feature old photographs taken 150 years ago showing what Japan looked like at the time. For this program, the details recorded on 10-centimeter by 20-centimeter glass negatives have been digitized and displayed on a large 8K screen, uncovering the lives of the people and images of the time as Edo was becoming Tokyo.
    Another program is “Ima Yomigaeru Densetsu no Mei-ensou – Mei-butai (Recreations of Legendary Musical and Theatrical Performances)”. Concerts conducted by giants of the 20th century music world, including Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein and Carlos Kleiber, will be recreated on the screen in 8K. Film of famous musical performances which had been carefully preserved in cold storage in Germany has been exclusively remastered by NHK into ultra-high-definition 8K video and immersive 22.2-channel audio to create programs allowing viewers to enjoy classic concerts from the 20th century.
    BS4K and BS8K will deliver live sports events, music programs, content which creates the feeling of actually being there, and dramas that use exquisite images to tell their story, and programs that recreate historically important images in ultra-high-definition. We will continue to broadcast content which as many people as possible can enjoy.