Anti-NHK Party Chief Sued over Unpaid Viewer Fees


Tokyo, Oct. 28 (Jiji Press)--Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, said Monday that it has sued Takashi Tachibana, head of NHK kara Kokumin wo Mamoru To (the party to protect the people from NHK), for his viewing fee payments.

Tachibana, whose single-issue party is critical of the public broadcaster, set up a television set at his office at the building for members of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, in August, after he won an Upper House seat in the July 21 election, and subscribed to both satellite and terrestrial broadcasts of NHK under his name, according to the broadcaster.

But Tachibana has yet to pay a total of 4,560 yen in fees for August and September. NHK earlier sent two letters demanding he pay the fees, and took the case to court after the politician missed the payment deadline.

Tachibana has publicly stated that he would subscribe to NHK but would not pay for it. The suit was filed with Tokyo District Court.

Lawsuits regarding unpaid viewing fees are usually taken up first at a summary court, but NHK chose a district court for the litigation. As the reason, Kazuyoshi Matsuzaki, head of sales at NHK, said, "Tachibana has publicly said he would not pay the viewing fee, rendering the possibility of his payment extremely low, and it is of great public interest."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press