New NHK Chief Resolved to Promote Reforms

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 27 (Jiji Press)--Terunobu Maeda, new president of Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, expressed on Monday his determination to push ahead with reforms of the public broadcaster.

"The three-part reforms of operations, viewing fees and governance must be pursued ceaselessly," Maeda, 75, said at his inaugural press conference.

Maeda, former leader of Mizuho Financial Group Inc. <8411>, one of Japan's top three banking groups, said that NHK will decide whether to lower its viewing fees based on its business conditions.

The president also pinned high hopes on NHK's plan to begin online simultaneous streaming of its television programs in March. "We will use the internet effectively while keeping broadcasts as our foundation."

The public broadcaster will offer the simulcast service for 17 to 18 hours a day rather than around the clock, due to concerns among commercial broadcasters that the move would deal a blow to them. "We'll watch the response (from viewers)," Maeda said on whether to introduce 24-hour simulcasts in the future. "It's not a foregone conclusion."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press