Japan Top Court Finds NHK Fee System Constitutional (News)


Tokyo, Dec. 6 (Jiji Press)—Japan's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a provision of the Broadcast Act requiring television set owners to sign subscription contracts with Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, is constitutional.

It is the first time that the top court has made a judgment on the constitutionality of the law provision.

The court's Grand Bench, led by Chief Justice Terada Itsurō, also ruled that owners of TV sets have obligation to pay the fees retroactively from the point they installed the TV program receivers.

The fee system is a reasonable mechanism that helps the Japanese people exercise the constitutional right to know and the law provision does not violate the supreme law because it is designed to make fee collection appropriate and fair and is necessary, the Grand Bench said. Of the 15 justices, 14 concurred with the view.

The ruling is likely to support NHK's plans to collect money from more than nine million households across the nation who are not paying their fees.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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