50 Years of NHK Television

60's Color TV!

The year 1960 brought political upheaval with the revision of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. TV screens flickered with images of controversies that were shaping Japan's future. Television also entered a great period of growth in the 60's with the spread of color TV.

On the air from morning till night

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Ratification of US-Japan Security Treaty
Socialist Party chairman assassinated
Gagarin first man in space
Polio epidemic
Cuban missile crisis Kennedy assassination
Yoshinobu kidnapping
Tokyo Olympics
Tokaido Shinkansen
Niigata Earthquake
Tonkin Gulf Incident
1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
Full-scale color TV broadcasting
NHK cuts violent scenes
Morning Drama serials NHK broadcasts all day on General TV/Number of TV sets in Japan reaches 10 million Live Japan-US satellite TV link
Annual Historical Drama
Satellite relay of Tokyo Olympics to North America and Europe

TV in living color
In Japan, 1960 was a year of constant tension. The revision of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty polarized domestic opinion. But this year was also the start of a period of dramatic growth for TV, which began airing from morning into the night.
Programs in color began to appear and television really took off. The first color broadcasts, in September 1960, were mainly movies and sports telecasts. Color broadcasts quickly increased with the approach of the Olympics.
The Tokyo Olympic Games gave Japan an opportunity to show the world its achievements in TV technology and broadcast production.

News shows in the morning
From around 1961, TV broadcasts began to span the day from morning to night. This was a period when the morning was regarded as a barren and undeveloped time slot as there were still few viewers.
NHK launched its morning version of NHK News in 1960, followed by the Morning Drama serials in 1961. The audience share for the time slot from 8:15 a.m. tripled to more than 10% as TV viewers got into the habit of watching NHK in the morning.
Studio 102
Studio 102
A morning show "war" erupted in 1964 when NET (the present day ANN) launched the Kijima Norio's Morning Show. The following year, NHK introduced Studio 102, a news show hosted by announcer Nomura Taiji that made use of NHK's nationwide network. Studio 102 enjoyed a 15-year run, winning popularity by presenting news in a natural conversational style.

As new methods of collecting and presenting news in a TV format were developed, TV news evolved from mimicking newspapers to having a style of its own, giving birth to news shows conducted in chatty, everyday language that welcomed the expression of frank opinions.

The first U.S.-Japan satellite relay
The TV industry strove to develop technology and upgrade facilities in time for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.
In 1962, the first successful trans-Atlantic TV relay was conducted via the Telstar 1 telecommunications satellite. The first U.S.-Japan satellite telecast was carried out on November 23, 1963 using the Relay 1 satellite. This happened to be the day of President John F. Kennedy's assassination (November 23, Japan Time), so the people of Japan were introduced to the satellite telecast era via the shocking news of this tragedy.

News of the assassination of John F. Kennedy arrives via satellite relay.
News of the assassination of
John F. Kennedy arrives via satellite relay.

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