Court ruling orders anyone with a TV-equipped device to pay NHK’s public broadcasting license fee

Court ruling orders anyone with a TV-equipped device to pay NHK’s public broadcasting license fee

TOKYO —

The Sagamihara Court in Yokohama ruled on May 27 that regardless of whether or not someone has entered into a contract with NHK, being in possession of a TV-equipped device, like a smartphone or car navigation equipment, is enough by law to be obligated to pay NHK’s licensing fees.

According to NHK News, the same district court ordered a household in Kanagawa Prefecture to pay a TV license fee that was calculated back to when they first bought their TV set many years ago. The total fee came in at a whopping 109,000 yen. Such a ruling is a first of its kind; up until now if you could somehow avoid signing the TV license contract, you could rid yourself of any obligations to pay.

Without doubt, this latest ruling will leave many non-NHK subscribers with a TV asking themselves, “Should I ditch the box or front the fee?”

Over the past few weeks, Twitter users have had quite a bit to say about it all:

—“Absolutely outrageous. I can see myself being made to enter into a TV license contract just for buying a new phone or car navigation kit.”

—“You’re telling me that NHK really has that much of a viewership? Doesn’t make a difference to me if it’s there or not. What about just not watching it?”

—“What concerns me about this latest ruling is how NHK found out the defendant’s name. I wonder if NHK started the lawsuit without them even knowing? Maybe the concerned party cancelled their TV license contract a while back which is why they got tracked?”

—“We’ve lost the free rights war to NHK!”

—“This hits hard. What about deducting the fee from our taxes? Wait a minute, I’m against that as well. Damn it!”

—“These are really tough sales tactics on NHK’s part. Who wants to pay money to a station that doesn’t keep their content neutral!”

—“This is down right immoral.”

—“I feel sorry for anyone who signed up for a TV equipped smartphone.”

—“It’s terrifying me, ahh!”

As you can clearly see from the comments above, the majority of Twitter users are very critical and a little disgruntled by the latest ruling. What’s more, looking at the Q&A section on the NHK site, it clearly states that any equipment capable of receiving a TV signal such as a PC or car navigation system also becomes a target. This means that anyone in Japan might end up having to sign a NHK TV license contract just for owning a portable game console like the Nintendo DS.

It’s difficult to look at any of this in a positive way, but according to NHK, a contract is counted per household so it is possible to theoretically be the owner of many TV viewing devices while only paying the one contract fee. However, for anyone living in Japan who is determined not to pay the fees, the only advice we can give is make sure you don’t unknowingly buy a smartphone with built-in TV capabilities.

Read more stories from RocketNews24.
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How the Expired Copyright License of Old Literary Works Could Keep Japan’s Cultural Soil Fertile
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RocketNews24

  • 4

    zichi

    I never watch NHK, haven't used a TV for many years. I had Skyperfect for more than 17 years, until last year when I changed to Hikari Internet TV from Plala, which worked out about a ¥1,000/ month less than the Skyperfect and now get HD channels.

    My internet is 200Mbps fiber optic, and I mostly get that too. The Hikari box is connected to a display rather than a TV. Outside the house, there are no Ariel's on the roof, no satellite dishes, so when those young types come knocking at the door, I just point to the roof and say, "look, I don't have TV!"

    If I want to view NHK, I think that's extra fees. I don't use mobile/cell phones, but Hakari also have a service for mobile devices.

    I have always refused to pay for a service I never used.

    The programs on Hikari are no better than Skyperfect, with I reckon more than 50% repeat, so the monthly fee is at least the double of the fee, in value for yen.

  • 1

    telica

    just out of interest, how much is the NHK fee?

  • 3

    Probie

    The Sagamihara District Court in Yokohama

    Translation fail. 横浜地裁相模原支部, should be Yokohama District Court Sagamihara Branch.

    regardless of whether or not someone has entered into a contract with NHK, being in possession of a TV-equipped device, like a smartphone or car navigation equipment, is enough by law to be obligated to pay NHK’s licensing fees.

    This is extortion. I don't even watch stupid NHK. I pay for my cable TV, and that is all I intend to pay for. If NHK want people to pay for their boring content, they should make it a pay channel.

  • 6

    hereforever

    How can the government allow NHK to extort money from every household on Japan? Abe, how about growing a pair and protect the citizens of the country you love and lead. With today's technology, why doesn't NHK just have a tuner box for those who want it?

  • 3

    Iowan

    Baaha! Good luck NHK.

  • 1

    Ms. Alexander

    I, like Zichi, have Plala so hopefully I can get away with not paying for my TV at home - especially since I don't watch NHK.

    My smartphone has TV equipped and I'll be damned if they charge me! I don't even watch TV on the phone!!

    Does anyone know how much they are trying to charge?

  • 3

    papigiulio

    This will backfire for sure. Im not a lawyer but I really wonder HOW NHK can get users to pay money while they arent in a contract WITH NHK. shouldnt NHK go to Hikari, JCOM etc instead to get money from them?

  • 0

    Citizen2012

    Another blow to freedom, how can you charge by law without a contract ? This is also a blow to Japanese smartphone makers and tv makers in general if they force you to sign an abusive NHK contract, if really it does happen I'll look for smartphone made abroad without support of 1-seg and just contract for sim-card and I'll throw TV for monitor without tuner.

  • 7

    CrazyJoe

    Privatize NHK!

  • 2

    papasmurfinjapan

    NHK will no doubt milk this exposure for as much as they can, but I guarantee the case will get thrown out in the high court - I'm sure you won't hear about that on NHK though.

  • 3

    AkashiAussie

    They came round the other day and I told them I didn't have a TV - even though it was on in the background. That said, I hook my computer up through the TV and watch tv shows and movies through that rather than watch crappy Japanese television. Everything NHK have is available online anyway. If I just say it's a 36" computer screen, will they still try and tell me I have a TV?

  • 1

    tokyo-star

    Last time I refused to pay, I think it was about 12000 a year - might have gone up since then.

  • 5

    akumakoe

    From NHK's website (and personal experience):

    Two months (satellite-equipped): 4,340 Two months (terrestrial): 2,450

    When I first arrived in Japan my company had provided me with a TV, I knew nothing about NHK, and they showed up at my door on literally my second day in the country when I didn't even yet have my alien card, let alone a bank card or anything else. I was high-pressured into paying and was told that I had to, even though I said I didn't watch TV and mine was broken anyway (which, I thought it was).

    To add insult to injury, it turns out my building is equipped with a satellite, so even though on the one or two occasions which I turned on my TV and saw I had about 12 channels IIRC, I was paying twice what my friends were for a service that none of us used.

    I finally tossed the TV and had to fight an uphill battle to cancel the contract, because NHK simply doesn't want to believe that a person living in Japan doesn't watch TV in some form. Well, I don't. Now I have a smartphone and I will be damned if I pay NHK. I do think it's equipped, but I'm about to have the TV service disabled, which means even though it has the hardware to receive television broadcasts, the software will not allow reception, and if they try to get me to pay the hell if I will when there will be absolutely no way for me to watch TV on it anyway.

    This really is extortion. The government must have a lot of stock in NHK or something.

  • 4

    Baibaikin

    There is no longer a need for a public, largely taxpayer-funded broadcaster, and the likes of NHK and the BBC should not be able to sting everyone with a TV for an automatic license fee. Goodness knows we pay enough in taxes already without having to finance an inefficient, extravagant, old-school monster of an organisation.

  • 7

    badman

    I always told them I have no TV. One guy tried to push his way into my apartment until I grabbed him by the neck and told him if he took one more step he'd be carrying his own head back to the office. That was the last time anyone visited my place.

  • -4

    Tirathat Yim Virojskulchai

    Why they just don't include this damn fee in the tax instead?

  • 4

    Skeeter27

    As for me I also never watch any Japanese tv. It's all crap programming to begin with. The NHL guy cam to my house. He pointed to the Antananarivo I kindly let him in and showed him there is no NHK or other Japanese tv on in my house. I get Netflix and Hulu. Basically, I am satisfied with with tv on demand.

    Next, t will ad this, if the NHK fee included service of about 150 channels such as direct tv in the USA for a modest fee of about ¥3000. I would pay that because I feel that if there were in fact 150 channels to choose from then I am sure I might find something worth watching.

    Anyway, NHK's fee is to expensive for their service in my opinion!

  • 3

    samwatters

    Don't panic everyone! Here's the question the article avoided: what are the penalities if we don't pay? Don't you know that it is already compulsory by law to pay for NHK but that they're aren't any penalities for failing to do so? Do you really think the police are going to lock-up thousands of people? Do you really think that companies are going to start deducting and turning over money to NHK? It's not going to happen because if it did it would mean some serious blow-back at government and maybe even some civil unrest. The Japanese public has had enough. Like papasmurfinJapan said, it will probably get thrown out of the higher court. NHK probably knows this as well and it just using a scar tactic to get a few hundred more contacts or so.

  • 1

    zichi

    it’s currently around 15,000 yen per year for terrestrial broadcasts and around 25,000 yen if BS channels are included.

  • 1

    FizzBit

    @Zichi, actually, I'm thinking of switching to Skyperfect. Hikari has cut so many channels over the last two years, and mostly, the shows we like to watch. Discovery and Animal planet especially. No more Survivor, Amazing Race, Doctor Paul, Hells Kitchen, Master Chef. It's almost an NSA conspiracy that the ONLY shows I like have all been cut. LOL

    FOX has taken over. Even Fox Movies show baseball games now. And not even the local team.

  • 1

    CH3CHO

    Probie

    I don't even watch stupid NHK. I pay for my cable TV, and that is all I intend to pay for. If NHK want people to pay for their boring content, they should make it a pay channel.

    It is a legal obligation to contract with NHK and to pay the fee, if you have a TV set regardless you watch NHK or not.

    Broadcast Law

    Article 64. Anyone equiped with an equipment that can recieve the broadcasting of NHK must enter into contract with NHK with regard to the receiving of the broadcasting.

    A cable TV operator must inform the subscribers that subscribers have the obligation to contract with NHK and pay the fee in addition to the cable TV fees.

  • 5

    LFRAgain

    And THIS is where the other shoe dropped. That no one can see what a blatant money grab this is is astounding. And that that the Sagamihara District Court in Yokohama undoubtedly sees this, but simply doesn't care is pathetic. So much for a wise judiciary.

    Screw NHK.

    Like I've said before, they'll get money from me for the one-seg capability of my cell phone when they pry that phone from my cold, dead grip.

    "just out of interest, how much is the NHK fee?"

    The fee now sits at about 14,900 yen per year per household. Currently, some 40 million households are paying this fee, down 20% after a spate of scandals involving not only embezzlement, but also NHK allowing its content to be influenced by political radicals.

    The PBS, America's tax-funded public broadcaster, had a 2012 annual revenue of $505 million. The BBC? Revenue generated from licensing fees in 2012 amounted to 93 million pounds, or $141 million. At 14,900 yen per household, NHK is raking in a staggering 596,000,000,000 yen annually, or $5.9 billion.

    This is extortion, pure and simple.

  • -1

    eye

    Does anybody know of a national anti-NHK organization? I seriously think foreigners who are against the NHK fee should organize a similar group and affiliate it with the former. That way we can be part of a movement of such and not lone fighters doing our best to fend off the horde.

    With this latest development what I'm personally going to do is compile a small folder of news clippings of NHK related sex/money scandals, plus proof of participation in an anti-NHK group and any other reason to justify not having to succumb to NHK's highway robbery, to show to future collectors. Might even video such encounters in case they try to do anything silly.

    Any thoughts?

  • 5

    falseflagsteve

    I would recommend watching no television so you will have no fees. Been over two years since we stopped having television in the house. the box in the corner has too bad an influence on family life that you don't realise until it is gone.

  • 4

    borscht

    It's not whether you watch TV or NHK or not, it's whether you have a device that is capable of displaying NHK and this court has decided that a car navigation system et al that has a TV module is such a device.

  • 2

    Ms. Alexander

    I could be wrong but I think, so far, this only pertains to those who live in the Kanagawa district.

  • 0

    Probie

    As for me I also never watch any Japanese tv. It's all crap programming to begin with. The NHL guy cam to my house.

    Let's hope that wasn't Gary Bettman.

    @CH3CHO

    I don't even watch stupid NHK. I pay for my cable TV, and that is all I intend to pay for. If NHK want people to pay for their boring content, they should make it a pay channel.

    It is a legal obligation to contract with NHK and to pay the fee, if you have a TV set regardless you watch NHK or not.

    I KNOW that. It's an outdated concept, and should be stopped.

    Broadcast Law. Article 64. Anyone equiped with an equipment that can recieve the broadcasting of NHK must enter into contract with NHK with regard to the receiving of the broadcasting. A cable TV operator must inform the subscribers that subscribers have the obligation to contract with NHK and pay the fee in addition to the cable TV fees.

    Forcing people to pay for something they don't want, or use should be stopped.

    Let the government subsidize NHK. It's their mouthpiece anyway, and they give handouts to criminal organizations like TEPCO, why not the extortionists, NHK?

  • 0

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    Broadcast Law

    Article 64. Anyone equiped with an equipment that can recieve the broadcasting of NHK must enter into contract with NHK with regard to the receiving of the broadcasting.

    Thanks there, CH3CHO.

    Though I understand the displeasure and know that everyone quietly avoids paying NHK, the court actually made the correct and only decision.

    As Judiciary, their job is not to judge the suitability of laws - that is the legislature's job. Their job is to apply the law already written. At best they can interpret the law if it has interpretive room, but there is very little in this case.

    The protest letter should be written to your representative, for all the good it will do...

  • 4

    tkoind2

    My screen is a monitor not a TV. That is my story and I am sticking by it. NHK will get money from me when they show up with the police and not a second before.

  • 1

    zichi

    FizzBit

    @Zichi, actually, I'm thinking of switching to Skyperfect.

    Recently I looked into that, Skyperfect by Internet and the same channel cuts which wasn't the decision of Hikari or Skyperfect apply there too. Yes, a few more channels like CNN News and BBC World News in HD but the additional fees were about ¥2,000 a month more, so I didn't go with it since we only watch TV for a couple of hours per day.

  • -11

    Brainiac

    I must be the only JT reader who pays the NHK fee. Alas, honesty is a disappearing virtue.

  • 4

    tkoind2

    One thought about activism against this. The problem with every political issue in Japan is that the locals keep voting in these people who they know will not support what they want. 70% of people here were against nuclear power the last election period. And yet they voted in a party with a clear pro-nuclear agenda. The same goes for all the voters in Tokyo who do not want to spend tax money on the Olympics and yet voted those guys in too.

    Voters here vote for the "popular" guy. Just like high school. They seem to give very little attention to what the "popular" guy will do to screw them over once in office.

    I do think that this will be tossed out in higher court. And like someone posted above, there is still no ruling showing penalties for not paying. Until there is a clearly defined penalty for not paying, it is probably best to avoid a contract.

    We foreigners have the benefit of being able to leverage foreign made TVs without capacity to receive NHK or any other Japanese channel. Until NHK gets the right to come into your home and check it directly, then it is really your word and their decision to believe it or not. They cannot sue everyone. So not much really changes here.

  • 4

    StormR

    Good Luck with that NHK please be sure to let us all know how that works out for ya.

    NHK will not be collecting fees from this household.

  • 5

    Jack Stern

    Not many people in Japan want to pay the "shaken" fee either but they do or will be fined for driving without it. I guess NHK thinks that TV watchers will fall into that same line of thinking.

  • 5

    cnc

    In essence NHK and the Courts just killed their own mobile phone industry because if we are forced to pay for NHK on our mobile phones then the people who do not want that function will opt for the Iphone because it is the only handset that does not have a TV tuner in it. Also if they are planning to force us to pay NHK fees for phones that have one-seg reception built into them, then the customer should have the option of choosing to have that function disabled in the handset at the time of purchase.

  • 2

    papasmurfinjapan

    NHK will not be collecting fees from this household.

    Nor mine.

    One must wonder out of the hundreds of thousands of households that don't pay the fee, why NHK decided to pick on this family. Was it collector revenge?

    The NHK collectors are the most obnoxious, rude, invasive door-to-door salesmen I have ever met. I once had one pounding on my front door for over 10 minutes yelling "you have to pay! It's your duty!". I had to threaten to call the police to get the guy off my property.

  • 2

    White_Shinobi

    The last time an nhk person came to my house ... (I always got away with acting like i didnt speak japanese). (Until they sent an english speaker, lol) i invited him inside for tea... During the hot tea ... I kept asking if he was getting sleepy? (I would let him keep talking about nhk and i just waited and replied "sleepy? Not yet? Ok..")

    He finally said "maybe... A little sleepy, why ?" and i brought out some duct tape and a knife and set it on the table , giggling and smiling... Staring at him...

    Its been 4 years now.. No nhk people... :(

  • -3

    White_Shinobi

    Ahhh forgot to say.... He kept saying he had to get another paper from his car... And i was like ... Oh no no... Tee hee hee.... Continue...

    But i finally let him go get his paper... And i havent seen a nhk person in 4 years ;)

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    It's extortion! Plain and simple! They rocked up my place the day after I moved in and I told them to &#$% off! I never watch Japanese TV. I have a nice large TV, which is my PC monitor, but by their regulations I have to pay for NHK? They can take a long walk off a short pier! If they think that people 'have' to pay to watch it should be a pay-per-view station instead of a stand-over extortion racket!

  • 0

    FizzBit

    Zichi

    Yes, a few more channels like CNN News and BBC World News in HD but the additional fees were about ¥2,000 a month more

    It is more expensive, don't watch CNN. We have BBC, don't watch that either. However, with the price I'm paying now for Hikari, there is not ONE single show I like to watch. Nothing! Well, maybe Pawn Stars if I'm desperate. History & Nat Geo have some good shows sometimes. So for $20. more, I'll pay it. The Hikari On Demand is nice though.

  • -9

    roughneck

    1: Those who are saying NHK programs are crap, do not have a clue for its programming. It is not a TV channel for your reality show, it is a national channel. They do not earn from ads, if you have never noticed. Their program represents Japan and the Japanese people. So, please do not bother to compare it with Jersey Shore.

    2: When in Rome, you need to act like Romans. If you are in UK, you pay BBC via tax. Here you pay via subscription. Deal with it.

    3: "Without doubt, this latest ruling will leave many non-NHK subscribers with a TV asking themselves, “Should I ditch the box or front the fee?”" ... It is like saying I haven't run anywhere today, so should I throw my running shoe? If you can not pay 45 yen a day, may be you really shouldn't be watching TV, and have some more work.

  • -1

    cnc

    'white_Shinobi'.....way to go,

  • 2

    soldave

    Where does someone stand with an analogue TV but no tuner? If they are not able to receive the NHK signal then they are exempt from Article 64. Or am I thinking wrong?

  • 2

    Carolingium

    It still amazes me to no end why people still watch TV, with far more better, no-strings-attached content for free on the net.

  • -3

    It"S ME

    I am with roughneck.

    In all countries I lived you had to pay for being able to receive the national broadcaster(TV and Radio). Some required you to present/show a licence for purchase or you could apply at purchase time.

  • 5

    papasmurfinjapan

    When in Rome, you need to act like Romans. If you are in UK, you pay BBC via tax. Here you pay via subscription. Deal with it.

    Obviously you don't know what the average Roman thinks about NHK then. Even the Japanese legislature, time and time again has refused to make the law "punishable" despite NHKs pleas to change the law.

    If you understand Japanese, have a listen to one of your elected representatives. He outlines the problem of a system that denies people the liberty to choose whether or not they want to watch NHK.

    http://hamusoku.com/archives/7830120.html

    If you watch it, then I think you should pay. If you don't watch it, then why should you? People need to be given the choice, not forced to pay. If they want to force people to pay, they should make it a tax like the UK does.

  • 4

    qazwsx

    2: When in Rome, you need to act like Romans. If you are in UK, you pay BBC via tax. Here you pay via subscription. Deal with it.

    60% of Japanese don't pay, so why should we non-Japanese? That's what I told the NHK guy. I'll pay after the locals do too

  • 2

    BurakuminDes

    Only a dope would pay for a "service" they don't use. And if NHK was supposedly so "important" and in the national interest, the government should fund it better - like, say, their beloved nuclear plants. Relying on a bunch of old codgers to collect this "fee" in such an arbitrary way, from an indifferent public, is the most illogical revenue collection in history.

    Tell NHK they're dreamin'!

  • 1

    Anna Louise

    I don't answer the door unless I know who is coming and I can see who is at the door. And, if they do catch me going out or coming home, I have a TV that is not in use, so I will offer it to them at a price, if they refuse it then I will refuse to pay their extortion fees! Was wondering why all my neighbors don't have their names up at their entrances, perhaps NHK is the reason! Taking mine down now!

  • 2

    gogogo

    Total crap! A smartphone is not a TV, it does not pickup digital signals unless there is hardware there, blanketing "smartphones" as having to pay is stupid.

    I don't watch Japanese TV, recently I have been watching Hulu in Japan so NHK get stuffed :)

  • 1

    SamuraiBlue

    The one-seg broadcasting signals are too weak too weak to be picked up on a smartphone in Sagamihara so their argument is null.

    Another point I have against NHK is that they re-sell their programs for profit to abroad and DVDs but those are not included within the balance sheet.

  • 0

    combinibento

    It's only a matter of time before a court rules that so long as you have an electrical & cable outlet, or internet, which would enable you to watch a TV or device should you have one, you're liable for the fee. After all, if one must pay regardless of whether they actually watch TV, then whether you own a device or seems irrelevant as well.

  • 1

    Ms. Alexander

    After re-reading the article, I realized it also says:

    What’s more, looking at the Q&A section on the NHK site, it clearly states that any equipment capable of receiving a TV signal such as a PC or car navigation system also becomes a target. This means that anyone in Japan might end up having to sign a NHK TV license contract just for owning a portable game console like the Nintendo DS.

    So you don't have to own a TV or a smartphone to be screwed. You are liable to pay by just owning a computer and a game console.

  • 1

    Saxon Salute

    Whether or not you should pay the license fee if you own a TV is one thing. The idea that your smart phone purchase means you are liable to pay NHK, even if you don't watch TV on your phone and don't have a set at home is quite another. The idea that you have to pay NHK if you don't have a TV but use a SatNav is disturbing. What next? The sellers of smart phones and SatNavs inform NHK of your purchase, so they know you can access NHK, and can harass you or take you to court if you don't have a contract with them? I can't believe this would happen, but it's not totally out of the question.

  • 3

    LFRAgain

    Ms. Alexander,

    I could be wrong but I think, so far, this only pertains to those who live in the Kanagawa district.

    NHK has been actively seeking ways to boost its revenue stream.

    If you have the opportunity, please take a look at this report compiled by author and investigator Yoshiko Nakamura, who has written extensively on public broadcasting In Japan.

    http://ripeat.org/wp-content/uploads/tdomf/1434/Nakamura%20Yoshiko.pdf

    In it, you'll find that NHK has been working dilligently towards making any kind of device capable of potentially receiving terrestrial and digital broadcasts of NHK programming subject to a fee nationwide. This case in Kanagawa was merely an attempt to test the legal waters of such a scheme. Needless to say, NHK execs must be overjoyed at the court's ruling.

    For something a lot more indepth, there's also this 2008 research paper done by Ms. Nakamura with Ritsu Yonekura.

    http://www.nhk.or.jp/bunken/english/reports/pdf/08no607.pdf

    This too illustrates NHK's overall goal to claim the vast breadth of media devices as their rightful domain insofar as fee collection is concerned.

    Just to be clear, this includes virtually any internet-capable device in existence, meaning laptops, tablets, desktop computers and any and all smartphones.

    How's that for a thorough shakedown?

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    I have a TV and computer. I use the former, which is not hooked up to the wall for even the 6 or so channels a non-cable contract offers, SOLELY to watch DVDs and, yes, cassette tapes (it's an old player, but is region free so I can watch DVDs from other countries), and use my computer for word processing, databasing, the internet, emailing, etc. I do NOT watch TV, and NEVER watch NHK save for at a friend's house on New Year's Eve or at someone's house for special sporting events like the Olympics (and even then the coverage is bogus). I'm not paying any NHK fee because I own a computer and a smart phone. As I said last time, they can kiss my lily-white butt.

    My advice to people is that if you are not expecting someone to ring your doorbell, simply don't answer it. If you happen to, or are going out when the NHK man rolls around, ignore him. If he or she physically tries to block you or screams at you (happened to me before and I wanted to sock the guy, but refrained), ask him about the latest money scandals at NHK and why you should pay for them.

    I feel sorry for the collectors sometimes, when they are not belligerent fools pounding on your door and trying to shame you into paying (there are some like that), but the company is a disgrace, and likewise the government for forcing it on you. As long as the government allows lawsuits like this to succeed things will only move backwards. Japan needs to have a system in place like most other nations; if you want to watch TV, you pay. If you don't, you get ZERO channels. It's ridiculous you have to pay for a service you do not like, want, or use.

  • 2

    Jimizo

    @Soldave Good point. I dont know the law on this but I haven't got a digital TV and couldn't be bothered to buy a new one or buy the tuner to receive the signal after the switch to digital. I paid the fee up to the point I couldn't receive NHK and after telling them the situation they haven't bothered me since.

  • 0

    It"S ME

    Smith in Japan.

    Point 1: Nhk can already block signals to nonsubscribers via the B-Cas cards.

    Point 2: Those NHK guys are hired on an hourly basis and work on commission, many are homeless or yakuza, etc.

  • 1

    bajhista65

    This is stupid. Haha! If NHK needed funds to run their network, get advertising sponsors. Don't hassle the public viewres who doesn't even watch your programs.

  • 1

    sensei258

    That's one good thing about living in a mansion with a security door, and camera. If you don't know who it is, don't answer.

  • 6

    KnowBetter

    The Sagamihara Court in Yokohama ruled on May 27 that regardless of whether or not someone has entered into a contract with NHK, being in possession of a TV-equipped device, like a smartphone or car navigation equipment, is enough by law to be obligated to pay NHK’s licensing fees.

    In the most clear and concise and eloquently blunt English I say to NHK... "BLOW ME"!

    Prove that I have received and watched your signal and then you have a case otherwise with NHK's logic all car owners should be fined for speeding yearly "just because their car can go faster than the speed limit". Sounds stupid, yes?

  • 2

    sveinnyves

    why cant people sue NHK back? if 240 million ppl sue NHK say good bye to the freedom depriving middle age tv station! Good riddance!

  • 1

    Drdolittle2

    I had a friend who was working for NHK collecting the so called fees and he himself told me that this fees is a farce and its just used for the commission/salary of the retired personals of NHK and every month whenever the collectors are able to collect more then their target amount the extra amount is used for entertainment purposes like drinking parties and karoke and lavish dinners among the collectors. Further some of the old geezers also get the chance to date old ladies who are also collectors. My friend got disgusted with his work and the way the money was been spent and stopped working as a fee collector. He had strongly advised me to stop paying this fees. Now folks you can think what you like but i for one know that this is really true how some things work here. Cheers.

  • 2

    Wakarimasen

    Just don't answer the door to them.

  • 2

    bogva

    My family also don't like paying to NHK but me also thinks they are the only channels with real programing. Have you watched sports program on the one of the "free" commercial channels? Its hilarious - from 30 minutes probably only 10 are real stuff. Rest is adds and gabbling. Not to speak of lack of movies and stupid varieties...

    So for me there is only one way!

    Make referendum so the public decide if NHK stays as today or goes commercial way with advertisement revenue!

  • 1

    Gaijin Desi

    O Maa GOD O Maa GOD!!! I have 2 Smartphones with little antenna, what can I do in this case? I dont want to pay NHK fees, so can I return thos little antenna to my mobile service provider?

  • 1

    StormR

    TV is pretty much heading the way the Dodo bird went anyway, more and more is available on PC and the content leaves TV in japan for dead so I can see a TV only becoming a large screen unplugged from any TV antenna and cabled to the PC.

    Now with these internet capable TV you wont even need a pc soon, Bye NHK you are a dinosaur now.

  • 5

    asdfghjkl

    There is something very wrong with this. NHK should be sued for transmitting a signal to peoples private TV systems, without people having the right to opt out of it. People should mass together and sue NHK.

    If NHK wants to make money try selling advertisements!

  • -1

    Jaymann

    then just make it a tax

  • 4

    billyshears

    The BBC? Revenue generated from licensing fees in 2012 amounted to 93 million pounds, or $141 million.

    You are way out there. According to wiki: "Total levies from the licence fee were £3.681 billion (over $5.5 billion) in 2011–12 of which £588.4 million or 16.0% was provided by the Government through concessions for those over the age of 75. Thus, the licence fee made up the bulk of the BBC's total income of £5.086 billion in 2011-2012."

    That being said, the NHK is a very poor relation to the service BBC provides for the Brits (in addition to their excellent international radio and internet sites). Totally incomparable, but I guess the majority of Japanese people are satisfied with what NHK produce (because they don't know any better???). I've read all the usual mitigating circumstances above (heard those a few times in Japan!), but the bottom line is if you decide to live in a foreign country, I suppose you should abide by their laws even if they seem unfair to you. BTW, some NHK content is available over the internet, so even if your smart phone doesn't have 1-seg TV capabilities, by that court's ruling, it would seem you would still have to cough up!

  • 1

    John Occupythemoon Daly

    This is laughable. Good thing I don't own a television, and now I have a reason to never buy one.

  • 1

    rnauser

    This is kind of funny, we have had this discussion in Sweden for a couple of months. After the 1 of January this year anyone with a device that have the abilitiy to recive TV-signlas has to pay a TV fee to SVT (Swedish Television), before that it was only those with an actual TV that had to pay. The fee is around 350USD a year so its not that big but still who wants to pay for something they don´t use?

    And over here if you buy any product that can recive a TV-signal the store have to report it by law. So if you buy, for expemle a computer or a mobile phone you will get a bill in your mailbox.

  • 1

    Probie

    My advice to people is that if you are not expecting someone to ring your doorbell, simply don't answer it. If you happen to, or are going out when the NHK man rolls around, ignore him. If he or she physically tries to block you or screams at you (happened to me before and I wanted to sock the guy, but refrained), ask him about the latest money scandals at NHK and why you should pay for them.

    Ha. If they try to physically block me, they'll regret it after they wake up from a concussion due to a body check into a wall.

    In the UK, if you don't have a TV, you don't pay the licence fee. With this stupid decision, they are basically trying to force everyone with any kind of receiver into paying.

    Is this going to affect business' too? Office buildings that have no TV, but a computer? Will they only have to pay for one licence per building? Or per tenant?

    What about people who own a telephone that is registered under their employer, but don't own a TV or computer at home? Will they have to pay, or will it be included under the employers licence?

    What about people who own a TV, but no antenna?

    What about people who own a business and a house, do they pay for 1 or 2 licences?

  • -1

    Matthew Simon

    I always tell them to go pack sand when they come around. I neither watch nor desire to watch their station. I also pay for Sky Perfect so yeah...

  • -2

    It"S ME

    Probie.

    The article covers most of your questions.

    1 licence per household, regardless of number of family members and numbers of receiving devices. Buy a device that CAN receive and you need to pay, kinda tough to proof that you are not watching/receiving.

    Also there are exceptions where people don't need to pay like pensioners, social welfare receivers, etc.

    As always people need to inform themselves before jumping on the bandwagon.

    Or can I move to your country and say I won't pay?

  • 2

    Simon Foston

    Roughneck wrote:

    2: When in Rome, you need to act like Romans. If you are in UK, you pay BBC via tax.

    No you do not. In the UK you are required to buy one TV license for all of the TV sets in your household. If you do not have a TV at all there is no obligation to pay anything, just like Japan.

    **Get your facts straight. **

  • -1

    Probie

    Probie. The article covers most of your questions. 1 licence per household, regardless of number of family members and numbers of receiving devices. Buy a device that CAN receive and you need to pay, kinda tough to proof that you are not watching/receiving. Also there are exceptions where people don't need to pay like pensioners, social welfare receivers, etc.

    No. It doesn't. It just says "a contract is counted per household so it is possible to theoretically be the owner of many TV viewing devices while only paying the one contract fee", it mentions nothing about office buildings, or any of my questions.

    As always people need to inform themselves before jumping on the bandwagon. Or can I move to your country and say I won't pay?

    Yeah, because all Japanese pay, right? Oh, and I'm not jumping on the bandwagon. I have never paid NHK, and never will, so I was already on the bandwagon, which is being driven by the Japanese people who don't pay.

    Since you believe the crazy idea that the NHK guys are homeless people of yakuza, maybe you are afraid not to pay? I'm not, and many other people aren't either.

  • 1

    albaleo

    @Probie "In the UK, if you don't have a TV, you don't pay the licence fee."

    Not so. The UK law covers any "receiving equipment". From the UK TV Licensing website:

    "You need a valid TV Licence if you use TV receiving equipment to watch or record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV. ‘TV receiving equipment’ means any equipment which is used to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV. This includes a TV, computer, mobile phone, games console, digital box, DVD/VHS recorder or any other device."

  • 0

    Probie

    @albaleo

    Thanks, I didn't know that. I thought it was different when I lived there because I had a computer and radio but no TV and I wasn't asked to pay. That was about 20 years ago though...

  • -1

    It"S ME

    I don't pay as I am legally exempted, don't watch it either.

    As for the reason 'I don't like their contents so I refuse to pay' ROFL.

    Reread the wording of the rules pretty clear in legal speak and used globally.

    As for the 'NHK collector' a proper one will only give you the application paper, that is all they can do. Like the can't legally enter your premises unless invited, lots of crooks out there. Plus he has to show his Id, etc.

  • -2

    ambrosia

    roughneck: 1: Those who are saying NHK programs are crap, do not have a clue for its programming. It is not a TV channel for your reality show, it is a national channel. They do not earn from ads, if you have never noticed. Their program represents Japan and the Japanese people. So, please do not bother to compare it with Jersey Shore.

    Who here has compared NHK broadcasting to Jersey Shore? Just because it doesn't have "reality" programs doesn't mean it's good or desirable. It may have made sense years ago, when the number of channels was very limited and NHK served as a channel for national disaster information but with the plethora of informational choice nowadays, NHK simply isn't necessary. As for it representing Japan and Japanese people, so what? Plenty of people in Japan are not Japanese so do they not deserve representation? Although I don't agree with BBS licensing fees either, at least their goal is to represent all of their audience.

    2: When in Rome, you need to act like Romans. If you are in UK, you pay BBC via tax. Here you pay via subscription. Deal with it.

    As has already been said, 60% of Japanese don't pay the fee, so which of these "Romans" should people be acting like?

    3: "Without doubt, this latest ruling will leave many non-NHK subscribers with a TV asking themselves, “Should I ditch the box or front the fee?”" ... It is like saying I haven't run anywhere today, so should I throw my running shoe?

    What does that even mean?

    If you can not pay 45 yen a day, may be you really shouldn't be watching TV, and have some more work.

    Generally people who have money have it because they don't throw it away on unnecessary and unwanted things. That's a basic rule of personal wealth so deal with it!

  • 0

    Probie

    As for the reason 'I don't like their contents so I refuse to pay' ROFL.

    No, I don't watch it so I refuse to pay. Why should people pay for something they don't want or use?

    And since you are "legally exempted", with all due respect, that will be affecting your view.

  • 1

    MicahDLM

    Outrageous! On the other side, in my home country of Belgium, they charge a lot more. As soon as you buy a TV, the government has you, as you need to fill in papers in the shop and the shops mails it to the tax office. You also need to pay per TV, so if you have 3 TV's, that's times 3! And it's not cheap either. I also dont watch NHK!

  • -3

    It"S ME

    Probie.

    Don't affect me, I paid my dues before the exemption and pay those I owe. There are many services here that I don't use but pay for, same for most people.

    Myself don't like the NHK fees but since I own receiving devices I got to pay when asked to do so.

  • 0

    Tom DeMicke

    I don't think this is a problem on Okinawa. Been here 19 years and never encountered an NHK person knocking on my door.

  • 0

    cramp

    just call it a mandatory tax, no need for the bs

  • 1

    Osaka_Doug

    NHK engineering staff know very well they could scrabble their signals as all other subscription based TV stations worldwide do, but for some reason NHK chose not to. I cannot turn off the NHK receiver in my TV so I don't see that any contract is being made with NHK.........I. thought, if a company billed you for a service you didn't request, civil law in Japan says you don't need to pay. I would love to charge my customers for sending their repairs back collect, but they refuse.

    I think the court probably is not aware NHK can scrabble their signals..............Can anyone add more about this law?

  • 0

    Serrano

    Whassup with all the negative comments here, NHK has great programming, y'all should be grateful to NHK, and when the NHK man comes to collect this summer you should offer him a nice cold drink and pay up with a smile, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Seriously though, NHK does have some good programs, but it should be funded by voluntary contributions.

  • 0

    billyshears

    I think the court probably is not aware NHK can scrabble their signals.

    I think you mean scramble. It doesn't matter whether you watch NHK or not, the basic premise is everyone pays to have an independent broadcaster. If people could opt out of such a system, channels like NHK and BBC probably wouldn't get enough funds to show more than a few hours a week! The problem in Japan has been that so far there has been no legal penalty for not paying although there is a legal obligation to do so. (I guess that situation could only happen in Japan!) NHK inspectors (salary 440,000 yen a month!) try hard to cajole the non-payers into coughing up. However, it seems that now (in the midst of NHK's 3-year plan to put itself into the black) the courts are beginning to take a stricter role with those who don't pay.

  • 0

    Saul Schimek

    sheesh, NHK has taken a few pages from Auntie Beeb, right down to the state mandated extorition

  • 0

    mdepaiva

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong about this. As far as I know, if you are paying for a cable subscription, part of that fee is already going to NHK.

  • 0

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    The problem in Japan has been that so far there has been no legal penalty for not paying although there is a legal obligation to do so. (I guess that situation could only happen in Japan!)

    Actually no. There is such a thing as "illegal but not criminal" even in the West (IIRC, the copyright laws for downloading content tends to go in this category).

    In such a case, you can't be criminally charged, but it does form a basis for demanding compensation via civil law whenever the copyright holder (or in this case, NHK) feels like it.

  • 1

    oedo1

    @CH3CO

    It's true the Broadcast law stipulates that everyone with a TV is "obligated" to enter into a contract with NHK in regard to receiving the NHK broadcasts. BUT there is no penalty for not paying! I say if someone actually uses the NHK service then they should consider paying, if not then why pay?

    Also, did you choose CH3CO as you nick knowing it was the notation for ETHONAL (with an A) OR did you think it was ETHONOL (with an O and also as in what we drink)? Two very different things! ;)

  • 1

    combinibento

    All these comparisons to the BBC are baseless.... Until NHK gets shows by Ricky Gervais and starts radio that, even back in the 1960's had live Jimi Hendrix shows, it is not the same animal at all and is not worth the money.

  • 1

    cleo

    NHK inspectors (salary 440,000 yen a month!) try hard to cajole the non-payers into coughing up

    Inspectors? If you mean the chiiki sutaffu who knock on doors asking for money, the basic rate is 150,000 yen a month plus commission. The recruitment website says average income is in the range of 250,000 to 350,000 yen per month, with the 'possibility' of earning in excess of 500,000 yen. Yeah right. You can be pretty sure the old geezers having doors slammed in their faces are not earning very much above the base rate. And because they're contract workers, there's no bonus.

    http://www.hatalike.jp/h/r/H103010s.jsp?RQ=30871187&__u=13726848222617453289577810698442

  • 0

    Sofa_king

    ...and somewhere in Sagamihara tonight there is a judge getting home with a stomach full of lobster and saké courtesy of NHK.

  • -1

    toshiko

    Very soon, TV makers will create all their TV devices etc to ensure to skip NHK in Japan. Commercial ads for NHK screens will vanish, Future generation will ask :"what s NHK?" in Japan. CBS Sony, Sony Picture, Sony CBS, Sony C\Sony Entertainment will not mind NHK disappear. Sony, Toashiba, Panasonicl, and others will be glad to see NHK disappear. They will gain commercial ads income that disappear from NHK,]

  • -1

    Akuma

    For those of you who are saying this will backfire and it will never work. I believe you're forgetting one major point .. The Japanese and their "shoganai" additude to everything. NHK knows this and they know it will work. The average gaijin may not pay but i guarantee the average Japanese will. Its called "shoganai"..

  • -2

    zichi

    The majority of Japanese pay their NHK fees without question.

  • 2

    billyshears

    The recruitment website says average income is in the range of 250,000 to 350,000 yen per month, with the 'possibility' of earning in excess of 500,000 yen. Yeah right. You can be pretty sure the old geezers having doors slammed in their faces are not earning very much above the base rate.

    Well, not everybody slams the door in their faces! In fact, a lot of Japanese regularly use these collectors to pay their NHK fees.

    "But the vast majority, 59.7 billion yen, is used on commissioning 5700 external “NHK collectors” — who conduct the door to door operations — and various companies to perform the fee collection task. The collectors’ average yearly wage is approximately 5 million yen, although this can vary widely according to individual achievement."

    from: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2006/08/01/issues/can-nhk-justify-its-huge-collection-costs/#.UdGaA_nSu_g

  • 0

    Mike Critchley

    And this article answers the question of why I NEVER answer my door unless I'm expecting a delivery and the guy screams, "Takkyuubin desu."

  • 0

    therougou

    NHK used to bother me all the time when living in apartments, but since I moved into my new house over a year ago and just got Hikari TV with no need for an antenna, they only came like once.

    Honestly most of the channels are useless and they show the same reruns of boring shows like Bones all the time, but the wife won't watch American shows without subtitles so it is useful sometimes. Also the new Android-based triple-tuner box just came out and has the same rental fee as the old single tuner so that made it a better deal.

  • 1

    Cos

    I could be wrong but I think, so far, this only pertains to those who live in the Kanagawa district.

    It can be replicated anywhere in Japan now. Jurisprudence. But since it's only a district court, they don't force you to pay, they don't take money from your account or whatever. They hope you'll pay as you are shamefully exposed... Take a seat and hear that : one of my neighbor has been condemned by such a court to pay 12 million yen to the association of owners of my mansion. That was 15 years ago, and since the amount has been revised to 20 millions. She crosses everybody in the corridor every day, she couldn't care less. She has not paid a yen so far. So if NHK sued me, I'd just let the sh... drop, let it dry where it falls.

  • -1

    Educator60

    For those who are complaining about the inefficient system of using door-to-door collectors (and those linking to out of date articles with no longer applicable information), this is from the NHK website:

    平成20年10月に訪問集金を廃止しました。 これにより、受信料のお支払い方法としては、「口座振替」「クレジットカード継続払」「継続振込(金融機関・コンビニエンスストア等での定期的な払い込み)」のいずれかを選択していただきます。なお、契約取次や未収回収のためのNHKからの訪問活動は、引き続き実施してまいります。

    Here is my translation: <(We/NHK) ceased door-to-door fee collection in October 2008. Accordingly, the fee payment options are now: automatic debit from bank account, automatic payments by credit card, or regular payments with transfer slips that can be used at banks, convenience stores, etc. Note that establishment/cancellation of contracts, as well collection of fees from those who are in arrears, will still be done by door-to-door collectors.>

    Their English website does not include all those details but says payments can be made by credit card or automatically from a Japanese bank account (preferred) or at banks, post offices, and 24-hour convenience stores using payment slips which can be regularly mailed to your home. Payments can be made on a twice monthly, six monthly, or annual basis with discounts applying for six-month and annual payments.

    NHK stopped the ordinary door-to-door collections specifically as a cost-cutting measure, especially in light of changing lifestyles that were making it harder to find someone at home in the daytime. So in a sense, if too much money is still going into the door-to-door collection systems, the fault lies with those who are not complying with the system by either not establishing a contract or by not paying their fees. Also nowadays, everything, including establishiment of a contract, address changes, etc. can all be done paperless online, although apparently only in Japanese. So if anyone is behind the times maybe it is the payment refusers who are forcing NHK into using the door-to-door collectors. (I am sure I will get a lot od downvotes for saying that but I really do not care as I cannot see them on my iPhone anyway, ha ha.)

    Anyway, I personally find it quite amusing that the ones who go on vitriolic rants about the quality of NHK/Japanese TV are usually the ones who say they never watch it. How would they know?

    Also, I appreciate those who have posted details of the systems in Sweden, Belgium, did I miss any? as that gives insight to those whose eyes and minds are open.

  • 0

    billyshears

    yes, you're right educator 60

    http://pid.nhk.or.jp/jushinryo/multilingual/english/index.html#link03

    However, there are still millions of Japanese households not paying their fees (31% of households in 2005; even if that figure has decreased, it is still likely to be a substantial figure) and present collection fees still amounts 11.2% of all revenues collected, twice the UK's BBC rates, so the door-to-door collectors are still in business.

    http://www.mediacom.keio.ac.jp/publication/pdf2013/yamakoshishuzo.pdf

    Anyway, I personally find it quite amusing that the ones who go on vitriolic rants about the quality of NHK/Japanese TV are usually the ones who say they never watch it. How would they know?

    By watching once and never watching again? Luckily for me, I like MLB, the news in English and some of the documentaries. And after all, this is Japan not the US, so I can't really complain about the TV programs that Japanese people like to watch, can I?

  • -2

    It"S ME

    Billyshears..

    Cry me a river. What is the percentage back home that don't' pay?

    As I said before there are many people exempted from paying in japsn , are those included or not?

  • -2

    billyshears

    What is the percentage back home that don't' pay?

    "back home"? 99%? Don't think many would be happy if they had to pay for pbs! plus, I don't think I'm crying, am I?

  • 0

    LSpiro

    I won’t pay NHK until they pay me, and I will tell the next guy who rings my bell that to his face rather than over the com.

    Let them take me to court and watch what happens when they end up having to pay me triple whatever it is they ask me to pay.

    I am an actor and on TV nearly weekly, and in fact I am in 2 movies coming to theater this year (少年H and SPEC ~零~, in the latter of which I have a somewhat major role).

    Fuji TV, TBS, TV Asahi, etc., all pay their bills, but I haven’t seen a cent (or 円) from NHK after being in several shows for them, including one with Aoi Miyazaki (宮崎あおい) (who is very polite in real life by the way).

    I’ve been patient with them for years until now and haven’t made a fuss even though I have every legal right to do so. But if they think they can now send some guy to my mansion and tell me I have a legal obligation to pay them just because I have a PC, the gloves will come off.

    If they take any action, I’ll pay, then counter sue, claiming that on top of what they owe me, I need extra for “mental distress” they caused me (a popular claim in Japan), plus interest, plus court costs, etc. Plus that time I got badly sunburned because they missed a spot putting sunscreen on my face for a full-day shoot, and because of that I had to cancel every other acting job I had for the next month until the redness went away. That in itself could be a lawsuit.

    I’ll pay their little 2,000 or 4,000円 or whatever it is. And then kindly accept the 30,000,000円 retribution fee from them. Thanks for playing, NHK.

  • 1

    OrangeXenon54

    About two months after I moved into my new apartment, I was pretty broke and basically just had a functional bed and a cheap dresser for my clothes in it. Then the NHK man came into our building, somehow having access without being buzzed in. He knocked on my and I opened, not knowing anything about this sort of thing. I was highly suspicious already at having an unwelcome guest. He asked me if I had a TV. I told him no, and showed him my sparse apartment. I thought that was the end of it, then he asked if I could get a TV signal from my computer. I said I don't think so since I got it in America. He then asked if I had a TV equipped smartphone, and I said I had an iPhone and had no idea how to get TV signals. He stood there thinking, probably about other ways he could get me to pay, but do to my upset face and obvious foreign-ness, he made the smart decision to leave. He hasn't been back yet, even though I bought a TV and registered the location and everything. NHK should not have this much power.

  • 1

    hkitagawa

    simple, we can sue this company since we already pay taxes and they salary.

  • -2

    Ian Robertson

    I have cable TV and only watch English language channels, such as BBC and movies. Does this ruling mean I have to pay NHK, and if so, what exactly would I be receiving in return?

  • 1

    LSpiro

    OrangeXenon54

    He hasn't been back yet, even though I bought a TV and registered the location and everything.

    It won’t be him next time. Every year it is a different guy.

    As foreigners we have an advantage:

    1: They just don’t want to deal with us.

    2: It’s so easy to convince a court that we don’t watch TV at all, including NHK, simply because we don’t understand enough Japanese.

    Unfortunately for #2, Japanese courts are not known for their rationality, as their 98% conviction rate proves. Then again, I guess that’s money in the bags for me when I go after them for the sunburn I got that cost me other acting jobs and the contractual obligation to pay me for my work for them that has gone unfulfilled.

    Ian Robertson

    Does this ruling mean I have to pay NHK Yes.

    Ian Robertson

    and if so, what exactly would I be receiving in return? Nothing.

    So, again, I am not sure where this could possibly go because it is just so obvious that in exchange for payment of some kind we should be receiving something. As foreigners who can easily prove an inability to receive anything from NHK this would normally be a non-issue. At least in any other country. The fact that the court actually ruled in their favor at all says otherwise though.

    I’ve already mentioned that I have legal grounds to take NHK to court to get back money that they have actually cost me, but even from the viewpoint of any random foreigner this is exactly contradictory with that old geezer who is suing NHK for using too many loanwords. If he loses (again, I’d like to think that outcome should be obvious, but there is no logic to the Japanese legal system so who knows), it means NHK is still Japanese enough that poor foreigners still can’t understand it. So exactly what are we getting in return for our money?

    Since a disgruntled NHK employee didn’t like my last post, I will also explain that if I do end up suing NHK (a possibility becoming more and more likely), the money will either go to a charity or towards an animal shelter in Tokyo. I’d like to keep a working relationship with them if possible, but I will not be bullied by someone who owes me money.

  • 1

    Ah_so

    The obvious comparison that everyone is drawing is with the BBC. Unlike NHK, the BBC produces much of the world's greatest television, documentaries and dramas. I think that it might be able to go private and survive as subscription with limited advertising, to a middle class audience. It actually creates the world's most popular TV programme (Top Gear) that alone pays for itself with sales to foreign broadcasters.

    By contrast, NHK is dull and unimaginative. it would shrivel up and die within days of it being on its own. Unless NHK produces television that people want to watch, I cannot see how it can force these fees on people.

  • -2

    Thunderbird2

    This sounds the same way that the BBC operates in the UK

  • 0

    only one

    I can't see why we have to pay so much. Australia has a very high quality public provider (the ABC) but it works out the each family only pays about 5000 yen per year. This money is funded by the government's tax receipts which means the ABC is held accountable before they receive the money. Have you seen the attitude of the NHK directors at the annual budget hearings- arseholes. There is no accountability and anyone can see how the LDP always seems to be seen in a positive light by the NHK. Nothing but a propoganda channel if you ask me, biased- selected reporting and distorting the truth. I don't want to see the NHK so why should I have some bastard coming to the door demanding money. Keep them accountable by having the license system scrapped and introduce direct funding- NHK would fume at just the idea. No more free lunch boxes for the staff.

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    Salary: ¥2.5M / Year Negotiable

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