NHK Board's Warning on Japan Post Program Left Off Minutes

Economy Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 30 (Jiji Press)--The Board of Governors of Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, did not record in its meeting minutes a warning it gave to Ryoichi Ueda, president of the public broadcaster, over a program on inappropriate sales practices involving Japan Post Insurance Co. <7181> products, it was learned Monday.

The warning is believed to have been withheld from the public record of proceedings over fears that it may be criticized as an intervention on a particular program, an action the board is banned from taking under Japan's Broadcast Act.

The same law requires the chairman of the board, currently Susumu Ishihara, who is also a consultant of Kyushu Railway Co. <9142>, to create and release minutes of its meetings. At the same time, the scope of what is released is left to the discretion of the board, and the standard for determining the scope has not been made public.

The board found problematic a statement by officials involved in the program explaining that the program production and management were separate, and that Ueda was not involved in creating programs. The statement was made following a complaint by Japan Post Holdings Co. <6178> over the report on inappropriate sales practices by its insurance unit, saying it gave an impression that criminal sales acts were being committed on an organizationwide basis.

The board warned Ueda on Oct. 23 last year to strengthen the public broadcaster's governance system.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press