50 Years of NHK Television

70's Making History -Live

The Vietnam War, as well as global economic and environmental problems, had tumultuous repercussions in the political, economical and social spheres. TV cameras were on hand to witness and record wars, hijackings and other major events, helping to create a new era of public awareness.

An era of real-time experience

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Emperor and Empress visit US Ocean Expo Okinawa
End of Vietnam War
Lockheed Scandal
Montreal Olympics
Japan Red Army hijacking
Oh sets world record 756 home runs
Sino-Japanese Peace and Friendship Treaty
Narita Airport opens
First Tokyo Summit
Diplomatic relations between China and US
1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
20 million households have NHK color TV reception contracts NHK Tokushu All Educational TV in color First experimental broadcasting satellite, Yuri World's first live TV satellite coverage from Antarctic

ENG and satellite relays
In the mid-1970's, TV gained access to two important new technologies. One was the electronic news gathering system (ENG), which enabled a departure from film and the widespread introduction of electronic cameras, VTRs and new transmission/ reception technologies. This innovation allowed news reports to be made and delivered much more quickly, and was also applied to the production of programs. The arrival of ENG marked the end of the age of film on TV, and provided TV with a new means of visual expression.
The other major development was the daily use of satellite relays, enabling faster in-depth coverage of events all over the world.

Nixon's visit to China
On July 16, 1971, U.S. President Nixon revealed a plan to visit China. A parallel announcement was made simultaneously in Beijing. In February 1972, the U.S. government took to China a portable ground station for satellite communications in order to transmit live pictures of this important diplomatic breakthrough. President Nixon's arrival in Beijing, where he was welcomed by Premier Chou Enlai and other officials, took place during prime time in the eastern United States. The broadcast of this historic moment was witnessed by some 60 million people.

Japan's very first satellite broadcast relay from China showed the normalization of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations in September 1972. Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei's visit to the Chinese capital was broadcast by technical crews from both NHK and commercial broadcasters, using a portable ground station brought in by the then KDD.

Witnessing history
The reversion of Okinawa in 1972 was preceded by a signing ceremony in which TV served as the link between Washington and Tokyo on June 17, 1971. The long-awaited moment was watched with bated breath throughout the country.
Many major global and domestic events have been transmitted direct to the living room in real time since the hijacking of the JAL plane Yodogo by the Red Army Faction in 1970. Besides the signing ceremony on Okinawa's reversion, they include the signing of the Vietnam Peace Accord and Emperor Showa's visit to the U.S. These transmissions signaled the arrival of a new era of broadcasting in which people throughout the world could witness history as it was being made.

The Yodogo Incident
The Yodogo Incident
Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei's visit to China
Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei's
visit to China
World's first relay from Antarctica
World's first relay from Antarctica
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