Supreme Court Confirms Obligation to Pay NHK Viewing Fees


Tokyo, Dec. 4 (Jiji Press)--Even families in Japan with televisions on which the channels of public broadcaster NHK cannot be viewed have to pay NHK viewing fees, the Supreme Court has confirmed.

The top court's First Petty Bench on Thursday upheld Tokyo High Court's ruling in favor of NHK, also known as Japan Broadcasting Corp., in a lawsuit filed by a woman in Tokyo, who claimed that she has no obligation to sign a viewing contract with NHK as its channels are not available on a television at her home.

According to the ruling, the woman bought a television with a device to weaken NHK signals and installed it at her home in October 2018.

In June 2020, Tokyo District Court found that the woman was not obliged to have a contract with NHK, noting that the broadcast law limits such obligations to the owners of televisions that can display NHK channels.

In February 2021, however, the high court overrode the district court's ruling, pointing out that the plaintiff would be able to watch NHK programs on her television by taking such measures as using a signal amplifier.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press