Comments from the Top (NHK President)

Summary of Press Conference (June, 2021)

  • On the response to Japan’s COVID-19 state of emergency

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu, President)

    The COVID-19 state of emergency has been extended to June 20th. NHK will continue to use all of its media channels to deliver the latest information, including the dangers of virus variants and the progress of the nationwide vaccination program, which are currently of the most concern to people. We will continue to do our best to deliver accurate information promptly and to prevent the spread of infections. And as part of our mission to contribute to society, we are currently looking into offering use of NHK facilities free of charge as vaccination centers. If we receive such requests from local governments or other organizations, we will respond quickly to them.

  • On the opening of the ‘Tsunagaru! NHK Media Literacy Kyoshitsu’

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    One of the key points set out in the current NHK corporate plan is how we will contribute to society. As part of this, we will hold online classes on media literacy for elementary school students. ‘Tsunagaru! NHK Media Literacy Kyoshitsu’ will be launched on June 4th. With so much information available these days, it is becoming more important for people to develop ‘media literacy’ skills from a young age. In this course, elementary schools around the country are connected online to learn about ‘how to find or analyze information’ and ‘how to deliver information while recognizing the characteristics of different types of media’. In this first year of the project, a total of approximately 20 lessons will be held, with 80 school classes scheduled to participate. In addition, a program for junior high school, high school, and university students is also being developed. This project is part of our efforts as a public service media organization to contribute to society and strengthen our communication with all our viewers, which we intend to continue to do in the future.

    (Comments by the project manager)

    Each ‘Tsunagaru! NHK Media Literacy Kyoshitsu’ will connect online four classes from elementary schools across Japan that have applied to join the project. NHK announcers will join online from the NHK Museum of Broadcasting in Tokyo. In the class, students will learn through experience how the selection of images and editing of video can change the way information is received and understood, and that the people who send out information have their own aim or purpose. Through this class, elementary school students who live in remote areas will be able to connect via their screens and exchange opinions, which we hope will give them the opportunity to understand that there are various ways of thinking about things. When a trial of the project was held in January this year, children said things like ‘I understood that it is important to get information from multiple sources and think about it.’ This year, the project will run for 10 days, beginning on June 4th, with 80 classes due to participate over the approximately 20 sessions. Currently more than 40 schools, from Hokkaido to Kyushu, have applied to participate. And separately, a ‘Virtual Homon Gakushu’ is also being launched. This will feature online question and answer sessions with staff members who are involved in program production, and videos which show what happens on TV productions. Approximately 20 schools are due to take part this year. There will also be an online talk event aimed mainly at university students, where people involved in program production will offer a look behind the scenes, and students will give their opinions on programs. Through these projects, we hope to not only help people understand the role and characteristics of the media, but also to utilize the opinions we receive to think together about NHK’s own position as a broadcast media that delivers information, and use that to create even better content.

  • On the Cultural Properties in 8K Project ‘Kuse Kannon Digital Chosa Kai’

    (Comments by MAEDA Terunobu)

    I would like to explain about a new development on the joint research project with the Tokyo National Museum ‘8K Bunkazai Project’ that I announced at the press conference in February. This time, the focus will be the Kuse Kannon Zo statue, a national treasure from Horyuji Temple in Nara prefecture. The statue is described as ‘a treasure never to be moved from its location,’ and even researchers haven’t been able to examine all of it. For the project, we were given special permission to film the Kuse Kannon Zo and created ultra-high-definition 3DCG images of it. We will have experts in Tokyo and Nara watch the 3DCG at the same time and use it for their research.

    (Comments by the project manager)

    For research purposes, we were given permission to film and 3D scan the Kuse Kannon Zo to record its structure in a way that has rarely been done in the past. The data obtained was used to create ultra-high-definition 3DCG that we call ‘8K Bunkazai’. We have decided to hold a digital research session ‘Kuse Kannon Digital Chosa Kai’ to have researchers examine this 8K cultural asset. In each 8K theater in Tokyo and Nara, three experts from museums and universities will examine the ‘8K Bunkazai Kuse Kannon Zo’. I think that ultra-high-definition 3DCG images on an 8K display will let the experts observe the statue as if they were in front of the real thing. The researchers at the two locations will be able to use controllers to zoom in and out and view any part of the ‘Kuse Kannon Zo’ from any angle they want to, and the images shown on the 8K displays at the two locations will be exactly the same. It will be as if the researchers at two separate locations were all in front of the actual object together, allowing them to discuss it in depth. We hope this will lead to new discoveries. This research conference is due to take place on June 18th and it will be broadcast in July on a BS8K program “Mita koto no nai Bunkazai – Hibutsu Kuse Kannon”.