NHK to reduce monthly subscription fees

TOKYO —

NHK announced Tuesday that as part of its three-year corporate plan, monthly subscription fees will become cheaper by 120 yen as of October 2012.

This will be the first time that the public broadcaster has reduced fees for TV since 1968.

Current subscription fees are 1,345 yen per month. Anyone who pays by credit card or bank transfer will pay 120 yen less per month (8.9%), while viewers who pay at convenience stores will pay 70 yen less (5.2%).

NHK said in its report that it will provide world-class programs and improve its broadcasting capabilities in the event of disasters similar to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. 

Japan Today

  • 2

    alpachinco

    hahaha, from ¥0 to ¥0. Come on by NHK, I'll be waiting for you. just hope you're ready for the spiel

  • 0

    Elbuda Mexicano

    I wonder what percentage of corruption and waste at NHK will also decrease??

  • 0

    Cricky

    OH NO, does or will this be followed by a similar decrees in program quality?

    Corruption in Japan? Can't be, there are few if any NHK programs about this.

  • 4

    calm down

    Hooray !! But I'm still not paying..

  • 2

    papigiulio

    never had and never will watch NHK, especially now that they have been at the door to collect money.

  • -10

    JapanGal

    I always watch NHK, but that much money I can find in a soda machine or on the ground.

  • -3

    Cricky

    Where do all the thumbs down come from? Don't see any posts welcoming this?

  • -4

    bogva

    NHK is the only reasonable TV in Japan. I can't understand what you find against it except the scandals in the past. Corruption and wrongdoing exist everywhere in the society - what matters is that they actually have good programs on all of their channels. Paying that much is another matter though - it is humorous deduction. I would pay 1000 yen for the 4 channels in total but anything above that is unjustifiable.

  • 5

    ironchef

    yep, me too. still won't pay it. I will never pay for anything forced on me, except taxes unfortunately.

  • -5

    zichi

    I think if I understand correctly, every household is required by law to pay it. Every now and again some young person knocks at my door asking for payment. I have always refused to pay on the grounds I never had a TV and never watched NHK. For more than 15 years, I used SkyPerfect but recently I changed to Hikari (internet) TV but I didn't take the NHK subscription.

  • 1

    jforce

    Can't see the point of TV anymore. Everything is online or can be downloaded from the ol' intertube. NHK? Stream it.

  • 1

    tmarie

    Don't care, don't pay - like many. If NHK wants to charge a fee, they need to be better at what they provide.

  • 0

    cleo

    I think if I understand correctly, every household is required by law to pay it.

    Not unless you own a TV set capable of receiving NHK broadcasts - lots of people stopped paying when their sets turned into video/DVD players in July. (If you 'never had a TV', what did you use to watch SkyPerfectV?)

    Cricky - methinks the thumbs-down are a reaction to the low-level, self-congratulatory 'I don't pay so sucks-boo' boasting of some posters.

  • 4

    smartacus

    I must be one of the few readers on JT who pays the NHK fee. I like some of their programs - the bilingual news, their excellent nature documentaries and some good overseas documentaries. I found it essential viewing in the aftermath of the March 11 disaster.

  • -1

    zichi

    cleo,

    first I used video monitors which are not TV's but they could have been set up to receive TV. Then I used my computer monitors which I currently use. I have three monitors, one is for the Hikari TV and sometimes another computer screen if I watch Hula or British TV.

  • 0

    cleo

    zichi, that's interesting - how do you get British TV?

  • -2

    zichi

    cleo,

    a VPN called Expat which only works with Windows. For Hula another one called Hot Shield which only works with mac's. So I have mac's with Windows 7 on them too, using Parallels.

  • -2

    bentheredonthat

    nhk shoukd ask the bbc how they make people pay. i think most brits pay the tv licensing "tax," and those who don't are hounded until they do pay.

  • 0

    gyouza

    first I used video monitors which are not TV's but they could have been set up to receive TV. Then I used my computer monitors which I currently use. I have three monitors, one is for the Hikari TV and sometimes another computer screen if I watch Hula or British TV.

    The screen is not important, it is the receiver. Video monitors don't have them, and PC monitors don't so you are OK. If you had a video deck that could record off air then you would have been in breach.

  • 1

    badmigraine

    Why doesn't NHK get huge subsidies from the nuclear energy industry? I still remember how they concealed the news of explosions at the Fukushima facility for a day or more. On the internet and foreign TV, you could see a violent explosion shoot black clouds of rubble and what we now are told to suspect included vaporized "spent" fuel rods and chunks of nuclear fuel. But on NHK, nothing for hours. Then they began saying "also at the plants, some observers have reported a noise and white smoke coming from one of the reactors, but officials have not reported anything unusual at this point".

    What corrupt, vile and cowardly deception. Even the bit about "white smoke" was heavily scripted. As nuclear experts scrambled to explain, white smoke means only the hydrogen burnt--nothing else! Nothing to worry about! None of us even knew that part of the story then. So the bosses, clowns and lackeys at NHK were told to pass this on in spite of the giant black explosion that was already out on the Net and foreign media must have got this propaganda directly from TEPCO or government "officials".

    Utterly complicit and deliberate deception of the public. The culture that let their old goats raid the funds and engage in corrupt practices remains firmly entrenched.

    Now they want me to give them money? Forget it.

  • -1

    zichi

    bentheredonthat

    They use detection vans and heavy fines and you will still have to pay the license. My son the other day said it was now about 170 British sterling. But come digital Tv which I think might be next year, those detection vans will be u/s.

  • -3

    zichi

    gyouza

    the video monitors didn't have a receiver so I could only use them with SkyPerfect

  • 1

    gyouza

    With BCAS cards being required for digital viewing, the chances are that at some point, if you don't pay you won't see anything. Currently, it is just annoying text on NHK channels. But that may force people to internet viewing and force the switch to on-demand (which will become mainstream soon anyway). Not exactly a trump card, but could be used.

  • 0

    Foxie

    Ever since the digital switch over, i can't receive NHK anymore. zichi, can I come for some computer lessons?

  • -4

    zichi

    Foxie

    If it's possible to get fiber optic internet in your area you should do that because also you then have an IP phone, ¥8/3 mins anywhere in Japan. Cheaper internationals. Then get Hikari TV and pay for the NHK subscription. Hikari TV works with a TV or computer monitor.

    Otherwise SkyPerfect TV.

  • -2

    Cricky

    Thank you Cleo for clearing that up, I do not have a TV that can receive NHK in the house myself. So every year I explain again to a confused collector that no I do not watch NHK. Yes my life sucks without it! But You know not knowing the latest girl/boy bands has not inhibited random conversations with others. Doesn't NHK get revenue from adds and Government support? How much do these Peoples agent need?

  • -1

    bookowls

    First of all, I have a subscription to cable and satellite.

    Secondly, I do NOT pay NHK, never have and never will. If they do not want me to watch without paying them, then they should stop filling up the History Channel with complete crap!! I pay for History Channel, NOT NHK!

    Thirdly, no Cricky, NHK does NOT use ads - if they did, they wouldn't be able to charge the public.

    It is high time that NHK realized they need to offer their service to subscribers only. That way, people who like the bad programming NHK provides, can happily pay their fee and leave the rest of us in peace, to save our money for something more worthwhile!!

    NHK's requirement to pay is akin to walking into a supermarket and being forced to buy food you don't want!

  • 0

    genji17

    Gee what a savings!!! Still not paying.

  • 5

    bogva

    Cricky, "not knowing the latest girl/boy bands has not inhibited random conversations with others. " That's my point - NHK is the least of what you state. All private channels are trash full of idols and idiotic shows. NHK has good programing - just my opinion (thanks for the thumbs down to all in advance)!

  • 3

    Cricky

    Bogva kind of with ya, it might be the least of what I state but in general the bar is pretty low. I will give ya a thumbs up. It's a dissection board after all not a fight club.

  • 1

    Nicky Washida

    I dont pay NHK simply because no way am I handing over cash to anyone who just knocks on my door claiming to be NHK. One time I was home alone with the baby and the guy knocked at the door and got really aggressive because I wouldnt hand over 23,000 yen there and then! I didnt even have that much cash on me! Jammed his foot in the door and yelled at me that I had to pay and being a foreigner was no excuse (wasnt even making that excuse!) I screamed and managed to shove the door shut and now, anytime an NHK guy comes to the intercom in our new place, I refuse to let him into the building. Not going through that experience again.

  • -5

    cactusJack

    I would call BBC "world class programs", but NHK? No way. Not even close.

  • -3

    logged out

    lawyer friend says

    "1) Before a court case, one could refuse as they were legally mandated to collect, but you were not legally mandated to pay.

    2) Now only I HAVE NO TV works. Because they are not legally allowed to enter your home/

    3) They do not even know who you are. If you have no name on your door, they just check the records for if your address has paid. The old resident may have moved. So best to not have identifying info on your door or mailbox.

    4) if you say NHK SUCK or you hate their politics or you do not watch, this is not ok legally-won't protect you. So best course is 2) that you have no TV and no computer either so you cannot watch online.

    He did not say about 1Seg TV tuners on cell phones. But I would assume deny, deny, deny.

  • -2

    gogogo

    I refuse to watch NHK and can happily without guilt refuse to pay the man when he tried to collect.

  • -1

    susieuk

    we HAD free nhk in the uk until last month. now they charge. its the only japanese channel we have over here and i kinda miss it. but im gonna pay to have a sky box plus with the extra charge they put on to get it.

  • -2

    cleo

    The NHK collectors are supposed to have proper identification to show you. If they don't/can't produce it, there's a good chance they're not legit NHK. If the only objection to paying for a service you receive is that you don't trust the man at the door, you can arrange to pay by credit card or bank transfer, or at the conbini. Cheaper that way, too.

    If you have someone yelling at you on the doorstep the thing to do is phone NHK and complain about the quality of their collectors. They'll happily send you a bank-transfer application form to fill in and take to your bank. Probably haul the collector over the coals, too.

  • -4

    ebisen

    Amazing the lot of gaijins living here completely separated from the realities of Japan. Not watching TV - at least the NHK news but still claiming they know a lot about what is going on here.

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    Japanese law says that if you have a plugged-in and working TV set capable of receiving NHK, then you must pay.

    I have seen the wording, and the only legal way around it is... ah, but that would be spoling the fun!!!

  • -4

    Iken?

    Never paid em, never will. Collectors are way too rude and aggressive ( but it is fun putting them in their place :-) ). Too many of their employees caught with their pants down ( some literally ). By the way, how many book stores and other types of stores are there that sell NHK products. Difficult to even imagine. They're always crying pauper, but the profits from just the byproducts of their programming is enormous. No good reason to pay them at all in my book.

  • -4

    logged out

    Well, another reason not to pay is that they have been involved in many scandals..such as when Abe (before he was PM) got them to delete a whole segment of a documentary on the war responsibility of Hirohito I recall. It was the court case brought by Women Against Violence in War if I recall correctly. (yeah, i know there ain't no war without violence, but they are a well known anti war group.

    And they include mainly talking heads who spout the govt line, the industry line, the Tepco line.

    Rare is the report not influenced by the govt. Like the mainstream commercial media, they are tethered to their Kisha Club handlers at the various ministries.

    About 10 years ago, they even had a pro Chinese gov line in their Business programming (for political reasons) and reporters who did not tow the line were no longer reporters.

    In the 1980s a host giving a talk on Chinese travel/history was told not to bring up anything on the war, even though his was not a news or political show, as if that mattered.

    Yes, they do have the occasional good program. more often on educational. And more so when it involves a non Japan issue. But on Japan, they tend to come down very hard on the side of gov.

    In short, there are reasons not to pay. Open defiance may be the most honorable , though the leftist lawyer i spoke to said we should all pay and send petitions, but that is because he is a member of a political party that one day hopes to be in power and despite being left of center, is not comfortable with civil disobedience. I think such disobedience is justified, but this being Japan, you are dealing with a criminal justice system that is not going to take such arguments into account, and it will be a very lonely and expensive protest--this is not Occupy Wall Street.

    That said, there are many many activists and others who are fed up with NHK for numerous reasons and they tend to use a variety of arguments. but the only legal one, so far, is saying you do not have a TV..

  • -1

    Michelle Bradley

    Now.. if TV japan and NHK World Premium subscriptions would be reduced...

  • -5

    Bogart

    Amazing the lot of gaijins living here completely separated from the realities of Japan. Not watching TV - at least the NHK news but still claiming they know a lot about what is going on here.

    ebisen, the idea that anyone will learn anything worthwhile from watching NHK News is laughable. Fortunately I have cable TV.

  • -6

    JapanGal

    I use the VPN hidemyass.com works excellent on Macs and Windows. Super support. I can watch anything around the world, and the IP choices are amazing. About ¥6000 a year and worth much more than the NHK fees.

  • -5

    JapanGal

    And there is a lot to learn from NHK TV. A real lot.

    Hiding behind cable does not get you out there to learn about Japan at all.

  • -1

    zichi

    JapanGal

    The VPN's I quoted cost nothing!

  • -5

    JapanGal

    I know Zichi. They work but very slow. Hurts J-com fiber.

    I am able to select and ping what I want and select the fastest or over ride. I find it worth the cost.

    Absolutely no hesitation at all. Click and instant. The others just do not do that.

  • -6

    JapanGal

    VPN is handi for sure.

  • -1

    choiwaruoyaji

    I've been disgusted by NHK's NewsWatch 9 weather animated character, Haru-chan, recently.

    This ridiculous, childish, baby-voiced character is an insult to viewers' intelligence and a humiliation for the nice and (I'm sure) clever female announcers who thought they were becoming presenters on an adult news program, not a program which seems made for kids TV.

    Get rid of Haru-chan NHK!!

    Actually maybe they already have... I haven't seen her for a week or two.

    But anyway, Sometimes I wish I paid my subscription, just so I could call up NHK and complain about things like Haru-chan.

  • -5

    choiwaruoyaji

    VPNs seem cool, I didn't realize they were so good.

    But ultimately, it does feel weird to be sitting in the middle of Japan watching something off the BBC every night.

    It's much better to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and watch Japanese TV.

    You'll find you have much more to talk about with Japanese friends and acquaintances, your Japanese will improve and also you'll somehow feel more at home here.

    Then, when needs be, just download the odd program here and there off UKNova.

  • -3

    nandakandamanda

    Agreed with choiwaruoyaji about immersion, until you go too far and lose touch with the old country.

    My old PC is on its last legs and refuses to play YouTube, but somehow I can get Sky's 3 min news for a quick fix, though. Must try UKNova.

    In the meantime do I take advantage of NHK's new rate and agree to pay when that friendly pair of Thompson & Thompson come a-knocking?

  • -1

    Conrad Ashley

    With BCAS cards being required for digital viewing, the chances are that at some point, if you don't pay you won't see anything.

    great. do it. saves me ignoring the intercom twice a year

  • 0

    Juan Carlos Barbosa Padilla

    If Mexico broadcasters Televisa and TV Azteca asked to pay fees to see their programs, a ton of mexicans will be happy to avoid that trash...

  • -4

    flammenwerfer

    so many uninformed people here! there IS NO LAW stipulating you must pay, only a system of obligation that you should pay. You can not be forced to pay it. The key thing is to NEVER agree to start a contract to pay the fee, that is when they get you. All the court cases over the past few years were people who had stopped paying the fee and the NHK took them to court for same legal breach of cantract clause. If you never start paying you there is NO LAW forcing you too pay and you can only be made to feel guilty for not doing so. That's it.

  • -1

    gyouza

    so many uninformed people here! there IS NO LAW stipulating you must pay, only a system of obligation that you should pay

    Do you want to join the ranks? ;) People in Japan are required by law to obtain a licence in order to receive radio television broadcasts. NHK are the administrator of the recipt of licencing funds.

    I don't like it, but that's the way it is.

  • 0

    gyouza

    Hora, but I take my comment about it applying to ANY radio broadcasts.

    Legal Basis for the Broadcast Receiving Contract Article 64 of the Broadcast Law (Receiving Contract and Receiving Fee)

    Broadcast Law of Japan (1950) ARTICLE 64. Any person who has installed receiving equipment capable of receiving the broadcasting provided by NHK shall conclude a contract with NHK with regard to the reception of its broadcasting. However, this shall not apply to those who have installed receiving equipment not intended for the reception of broadcasting, or receiving equipment solely for the reception of radio broadcasting or multiplex broadcasting (broadcasting of voice and other sound transmissions not coming under television broadcasting and multiplex broadcasting classifications; the same shall apply to Article 126 paragraph 1).

  • 0

    gyouza

    Hora, but I take my comment about it applying to ANY radio broadcasts.

    Legal Basis for the Broadcast Receiving Contract Article 64 of the Broadcast Law (Receiving Contract and Receiving Fee)

    Broadcast Law of Japan (1950) ARTICLE 64. Any person who has installed receiving equipment capable of receiving the broadcasting provided by NHK shall conclude a contract with NHK with regard to the reception of its broadcasting. However, this shall not apply to those who have installed receiving equipment not intended for the reception of broadcasting, or receiving equipment solely for the reception of radio broadcasting or multiplex broadcasting (broadcasting of voice and other sound transmissions not coming under television broadcasting and multiplex broadcasting classifications; the same shall apply to Article 126 paragraph 1).

  • -1

    DS

    If you have the TV, pay the NHK. Pretty simple. Don't be a freeloader.

    If you disagree with the method of collection, then protest against that. I agree that door to door is ridiculous. Protest against it by paying at your bank, or having the fee withdrawn automatically from your bank account, as you would with any other bill.

    The alternative is the government increasing your taxes and paying that way.

  • 1

    papasmurfinjapan

    NHK is the only reasonable TV in Japan.

    10 years ago I would have refuted this, but as I get older, and as commercial TV gets more and more inane, I think I have to agree with you. Not sure if it justifies the price though - 1,345yen is much better invested in a skyperfect subscription.

  • 1

    NeoJamal

    Is it so far fetched to change NHK to an optional BCAS subscription?

  • -1

    calm down

    Thats not protesting DS,its being a door mat..I'm not paying for something thats unwanted and unwatched and shoved in my face..

  • 0

    Ayler

    Amazing the lot of gaijins living here completely separated from the realities of Japan. Not watching TV - at least the NHK news but still claiming they know a lot about what is going on here.

    If your experience of the realities of Japan are mostly from watching telly - at least NHK - you probably don't have much of a clue about what is going on here. Get outside and speak to people, you'll be amazed.

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