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JAMCO Online International Symposium

18th JAMCO Online International Symposium

January 16 to February 28, 2009

Public-Service Broadcasts of Asian Countries

Presentation 1: Public Broadcasting in Japan

Mafumi Murase
Professor, Department of Communication and Media Studies, Rikkyo University

1. Introduction

Radio broadcasting in Japan started in 1925 in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. Broadcasting service was not profit-oriented but was run by a public-service corporation strongly oriented toward public interests and funded with broadcast reception fees paid by radio listeners.
At the start of broadcast service, newspapers and other publications were under government censorship. Broadcast operation was also supervised by then Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. Later, radio broadcast became deeply involved in Japan’s military aggression1.
The Constitution of Japan promulgated in November 1946, a year after Japan’s defeat in World War II, stipulated that “freedom of … speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed” and “no censorship shall be maintained.” (Article 21)
Legislation of a broadcasting law began in the spirit of the Constitution, leading to the law taking effect in June 1950.
Although the law underwent various amendments later, the fundamental spirit of the law established in 1950 remains alive to this day.
The Broadcasting Law of Japan is distinguished for establishment of Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK or Japan Broadcasting Corporation) as a special entity for public broadcasting, creation of a two-tier system consisting of public and commercial broadcasting and, most importantly, definition of broadcasting as an operation under the principles of democracy.

2. The Public Broadcasting System

NHK Public Broadcasting
Under the Broadcasting Law, the public-service corporation Nippon Hoso Kyokai was replaced by the special, quasi-governmental corporation of the same name and abbreviated as NHK.
The purpose of NHK is “to conduct its domestic broadcasting … with abundant and high quality broadcast programs for the public welfare and in such a manner that these broadcasting may be received all over Japan…” (Article 7)
NHK is a quasi-governmental corporation governed by the Broadcast Law and not a corporate entity or business enterprise based on the civil code or commercial code2. It was neither public corporation funded by the national government or other public entities. By carrying on the net worth of its predecessor that consists of broadcast reception fees paid by its audience, the organization established its position of implementing service based on trust of the Japanese population3.
The choice of function as public broadcasting service is explained to be “the likelihood that broadcasting service will concentrate in the highly profitable urban areas and not reach into remote mountain villages if it is entrusted to private broadcasters. Urban regions are blessed with news media, education and entertainment while mountain, farming and fishing villages lack healthy cultural institutions. In order to promote maximum dissemination of broadcasting to the Japanese people, satisfy their demands and contribute to the enhancement of cultural standards, it is necessary to create a public-oriented entity that is capable of broadcasting for reception across all of Japan4.”

Two-tier system and funding with broadcast reception fees
The Broadcast Law opened the path for a two-tier broadcasting system where NHK and private (commercial) broadcasting were to coexist with one another. In submitting the broadcasting bill, the government explained as the rationale for the decision that “two types of broadcasting service–broadcasting enterprise for nationwide and public service and other general, or private, broadcasting stations functioning as cultural broadcasting entities operating with freedom and versatility based on creative thinking of individuals in order to build and elevate broadcasting culture–are to coexist and exercise each other’s strengths, motivating and complementing each other, and to provide adequate welfare to the general public through broadcasting5.”
Private radio broadcasting began in 1951. TV broadcasting started for both NHK and private broadcasters in 1953. NHK began satellite broadcasting in 1984 as a test operation and moved into full service with 2 broadcasting channels in June 1989.
While NHK serves the entire country, private broadcasters (excluding satellite broadcasters) are region-based. Private broadcasters are incorporated bodies and require wireless transmission licenses for wireless broadcasting but do not have business licenses. Terrestrial broadcasting service requires the broadcasting operator itself to obtain a wireless transmission license to this day (so called, “matching hardware (equipment operator) with software (program broadcasting).
The law differentiates NHK from private broadcasting in financial resources. For NHK, “any person who is equipped with receiving equipment capable of receiving the broadcasting provided by NHK shall conclude a contract with NHK with regard to the reception of its broadcasting” and “the receiver’s fee from any person who concluded a contract” is to fund its operations (Article 32). It also prohibits NHK to “broadcast advertisements for others’ business activities.”
Private broadcasters excluding satellite broadcasting services running on paid viewership schemes are to be financed chiefly from advertisement earnings. Public broadcasting is characterized by financing “based neither on taxpayer support or advertisements but on receiver fees6.”

The Basic Principles of the Broadcast Law and Programming Regulations
The Broadcast Law defines the purpose of broadcasting as to satisfy “public welfare” (public interest) and to promote sound development of broadcasting, for both NHK and private broadcasters.
The law defines the following three as the basic principles for realizing this purpose (programming standards): i) To secure the maximum availability and benefits of broadcasting to the people (universality); ii) to assure the freedom of expression through broadcasting by guaranteeing impartiality, integrity in broadcasting and its autonomy (contribution to freedom of expression through independence and autonomy); iii) to make broadcasting contribute to the development of a healthy democracy by clarifying the responsibility of those persons engaged in broadcasting (responsibility toward the democratic society). (Article 1)
Furthermore, it stipulates that “broadcast programs shall never be interfered with or regulated by any person, except in the case where it is done through invested powers provided by law.” (Article 3) In domestic program broadcasting, the basic principles are that broadcasting: i) Shall not disturb public security and good morals and manners; ii) shall be politically impartial (impartiality); iii) shall broadcast news without distorting facts (report of facts); iv) as regards controversial issues, shall clarify the point of issue from as many angles as possible (multilateral investigation); v) shall, in compiling the broadcast programs for television broadcasting, maintain harmony among the broadcast programs, except those provided in accordance with a special business project, by providing a general cultural or educational program, as well as news and entertainment programs (Article 3-1), as well as vi) when a broadcaster conducts domestic broadcasting, it shall, in the event of a disaster caused by storm, heavy rain, flood, earthquake, large-scale fire or other causes that have occurred or danger of a disaster is foreseen to occur, conduct broadcasting which helps to prevent occurrence of disaster or to reduce damages caused thereby (Article 6-2).
Particularly for NHK, the law requires, in addition to the aforementioned standards, the organization “shall exert all possible efforts to satisfy the wishes of the people as well as to contribute to the elevation of the level of civilization by broadcasting or by entrusting for broadcasting abundant broadcast programs,” “shall keep local programs in addition to national programs” and “shall strive to be conductive to the upbringing and popularization of a new civilization as well as to the preservation of past excellent civilization of our country” as “exemptions regarding broadcast programming.” (Article 44) Looking at the aforementioned principles from the perspective of society and the receiving side of broadcasting, broadcasting by both NHK and private broadcasters is expected to be independent of the government, any political party or specific business enterprises, to be received anywhere within the service territory, to present facts and evidences in news and other programs, to reflect a variety of opinions, not to be partial to certain genres in programming (terrestrial broadcasting only in case of private broadcasters) and serve as means to obtain information on natural disasters.
For NHK, it is obliged further to offer a wide range of programs, pursue programming quality standards and to fulfill a cultural role.
The policy underlying broadcasting is that both NHK and private broadcasters are expected to fulfill these functions actively in order to enable the TV/radio audiences to gain information on society and made their own decisions and to exercise freedom of expression and, as a result, contribute to healthy development of democratic society and to advancement in culture and quality of life.
Since programming standards are related to freedom of expression, they have been interpreted commonly as ethical standards and indicators that broadcasters must comply with and do not have legal binding force, including cancellation of wireless transmission license.
However, these broadcasters have become the target of criticism regarding political impartiality and truthful reporting7. In 2007, test data used in a program of a private broadcaster was found to have been tampered and forced, prompting the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication to issue statements that “it is truly regrettable in view of the social responsibility [of broadcasters] as media covering news and opinions” and that it will “implement strict measures based on law if [action to prevent recurrence] is inadequate and results in violation of the Broadcast Law once again8.”
Program standards affect the entire broadcasting industry and require that all broadcasters possess awareness and sense of responsibility toward them.

3. The Current State of the Broadcasting Media
The number of private broadcasters as of March 31, 2008, counts 414 in total in terrestrial broadcasting, with 93 TV-only stations, 285 radio-only stations, 3 TV and radio broadcasters, and 2 text broadcasters. In satellite broadcasting, there are 11 that make use of broadcast satellites and 115 using communication satellites. Broadcasters operating independently with cable TV number 503. Those that use telecommunication circuits (broadcast via wired telecommunications), including 4 IP multicast broadcasters9.
In revenue scale, the total figure as of the end of FY2006 (March 31, 2007) was JPY4.488 trillion, with JPY2.6157 for terrestrial broadcasters, JPY352.5 billion for satellite broadcasters, JPY405 billion for cable broadcasters and JPY675.6 billion for NHK10.

4. NHK Organization, Management & Services

Board of Governors, Audit Committee & Executive Council
Because of its public-service nature, management of NHK is required to place its foundation on the Japanese people and to be managed with democratic policy. For this reason, the Board of Governors has been created as the decision-making collegial body consisting of persons with specialist knowledge and experience selected from the private sector. 11.
The governor “appointed by the Prime Minister with the consent of both Houses of the Diet from among persons capable of making fair judgments concerning the public welfare and having wide experience and knowledge. In this case, consideration shall be given to their appointment so as to acquire fair representation in the fields of education, culture, science, industry and other areas.” (Article 16) Persons who are national civil servants, ranking members of political parties, representatives of manufacturers and/or vendors of telecommunications equipment, executive officers of broadcasting companies, newspapers or news angencies or those who possess not less than one tenth of the rights of voting of such juridical persons are not qualified to become governors. (Article 16-3)
The Board of Governors consists of 12 members, and the chairman is selected among the governors. The term of office is 3 years.
The items deliberated by the Board include NHK’s basic management policy, organization development to assure optimal NHK operation, budget, business plan, funding plan, broadcasting station installation planning, openings, suspensions and closures, and basic planning on program standards and broadcast programming. (Article 14) The governors are not able to be involved in specific broadcast programming or other operations of NHK. (Article 16-2)
The Board of Governors is obliged to hear the opinion of persons who are quired to conclude receiver contract (Article 14-3) and to disclose the minutes of the meetings (Article 23-2).
The governors had been serving on part-time basis since legislation of the Broadcast Law. However, with 2008 revision of the law aimed at reinforcing NHK governance, the audit system was abolished, more than 3 of the governors are required to be auditors, and more than 1 to be appointed on full-time basis. In addition, audit must be conducted by an external audit firm (Article 40-2) and audit of the Board of Audit of the Japanese government (Article 41).
A compliance committee has been set up as an advisory organ of the Board of Governors for reinfrocement of the Board’s monitoring and audit functions and to implement compliance exhaustively within NHK. The deliberation body for execution of NHK’s important business operations is the Executive Council. The Council consists of NHK president, executive vice-president and 7 to 10 managing directors. (Article 25) The president is appointed by the Board of Governors, and the executive vice president and managing directors are appointed by the president with approval of the Board. (Article 27) The term of office is 3 years for the president and executive vice president and 2 years for managing directors. (Article 28) Under the Executive Council are bureaus and departments in charge of program production and news coverage, such as News Department, Audience Relations and Services Department and Engineering Administration Department.

Financial Administration
NHK budget is submitted to the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications every year. It is then submitted to the Diet, accompanied by the Minister’s opinion, for parliamentary approval.
The settlement of accounts as of FY 2007 (April 2007 — March 2008) had JPY655.7 billion in business earnings, JPY618.2 billion in business expenditures and the difference carried over and reserved for fiscal stability. Approximately 96% of its business earnings (JPY631.2 billion) come from receiver fees12. Because receiver fees are collected from the Japanese viewing and listening public at large to secure financial resources for fulfilling its function as public broadcasting service, including nationwide dissemination of broadcast and broadcast of a wide variety of quality programming, every person who has set up equipment to receive NHK broadcasts are required to pay the fees, whether or not the person views or listens to NHK broadcasts. From the legal standpoint, it is interpreted as “special fee taking the name of ‘receiver fee’ for maintenance and management of NHK operations, based on NHK being granted the right of collection of such fees as a special entity that is not a government organization13.”
The monthly receiver fee is JPY1345 for a terrestrial TV viewing only and JPY2290 for satellite broadcast reception.
Broadcast Services
For domestic broadcasting, it has three radio channels (2 AM channels & one FM channel), 2 terrestrial wave TV channels (General & Educational) and 3 satellite channels (BS1, BS2 and BShi).
Digital transmission has started on terrestrial wave from December 2003, with mobile phone service (“one-seg” broadcast) started in April 2006. In satellite broadcasting (BS1 and BS2), digital transmission began in 2000. BShi is a digital-only satellite broadcast channel.
Broadcast Law stipulates that TV broadcasting must maintain balance among program types (Article 3-2). In the breakdown of NHK programming hours by program type in FY2007 (Tokyo area), General TV (analog wave) has 48.9% news reporting, 10.3% educational programming, 23.8% cultural programming and 17.0% entertainmment, while Educational TV has 80.11% education, 16.1% cultural programming, 3.8% news reporting and 0% entertainment14.
   In program production, NHK procures, in addition to programs created independently within the organization, productions by affiliated bodies such as NHK Enterprise and also subcontract production directly to external production companies, in order to secure quality programming in stable supply and to make effective use of outside expert talent. It is also purchasing foreign programs and promoting international collaboration projects.
In international broadcasting, it has NHK World TV and NHK World Premium. In international radio, it has NHK World Radio Japan (both shortwave and satellite). It also offers news on the Web.
In response to government policy to strengthen international video programming for foreign nationals15, the company created Nippon Kokusai Hoso, a subsidiary for international TV broadcasting in English to the worldwide audience, in April 4, 2008. The company takes charge of program production for international TV broadcast under contract from NHK and, in addition, will be producing and broadcasting its own programs in cooperation with private enterprises, as well as building TV reception infrastructure for worldwide TV reception16.
In order to supplement its broadcasts, NHK provides information through the Internet. NHK’s Internet use is executed in compliance with “NHK Internet Use Guidelines” of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. NHK develops a “broadcast supplement Internet use plan” each year for secondary use of its national and regional use and weather forecast content, as well as school broadcast educational programs. With the revision of the Broadcast Law in 2008, NHK on Demand that offers programs that have already been transmitted or televised to PC users and TV viewers is scheduled to start in December 2008. NHK on Demand consists of “missed program” service and “special selection library” service, available to the user with payment of additional charge and is scheduled to be managed separately from NHK’s receiver fee account.

5. NHK and the Viewer

According to a survey of nationwide individual viewership conducted by NHK in June 2008, TV viewing time averages three hours and 45 minutes per day per week. Of this viewing time, NHK was viewed for 59 minutes, and private broadcasters for two hours and 46 minutes17.
  Since FY 2006, NHK has published items of assessment (promises) for its business operations related to broadcasting and management and created an independent counsel for evaluation from the viewer perspective, the Promises Evaluation Committee. The “promises” for FY 2007 include “contribution to social and cultural development through trusted, high-quality broadcasting” and, as individual item, “enrichment of programming to meet the expectations of a wide range of age groups.”
In the “FY 2007 NHK “Promises” Evaluation Report” published in May 2008, it was pointed out that “although NHK broadcasting is aimed at production and development for viewing and listening by a broad range of generations, actual viewership is concentrated among viewers in their 60s and older. Expansion of the range of viewership is important as its longer-range issue.” In addition, the report indicated that “the greatest issue in expanding the scope of TV viewership for NHK is to continue its efforts to reach into men in their 20s and 30s and men and women in their 40s.” Although the satisfaction level among women in their 20s and 30s has improved over the preceding year, continuing action is necessary for this age group, as well as for men in their 20s and 30s18.
The Board of Governors have also requested review into measures to increase opportunities of NHK viewing through independent “one-seg” broadcasting, etc., measures to make viewers find familiarity with NHK from their childhood and to continue to watch in adulthood, and methods of publicity and marketing to assess viewer needs, as measures to increase NHK viewership among young people19.
To gather viewer opinions on NHK management, there are budget deliberations in the Diet in compliance with the Broadcast Law, hearings by the Executive Council, promises assessment, programming Council, public opinion surveys such as viewership studies and broadcast assessment studies in order to gather wishes of the general public, as well as many other channels including TV monitor viewers, viewer opinion mail and phone calls, town meetings, sales activities and open TV program recording. According to “Viewer Service Report 2008,” opinions and inquiries received from across the country in FY 2007 numbered 6,641,414. Of these, 69% were inquiries, and 26% opinions and suggestions, of which 48% were related to receiver fees and 39% related to broadcasting. In terms of viewer response reception, 70% were received by phone and 50% via the Internet20.

6. Issues at NHK

The issues that NHK is facing today can be separated into those that must be addressed by the entire broadcasting industry, including NHK and private broadcasters, and issues that are distinctive of NHK. The former include action that is required for legislation concerning digitization of terrestrial TV broadcasts and coordination and consolidation of broadcasting and telecommunications. Also, the latter includes reorganization of NHK’s satellite broadcast channels, review into its receiver fee system and reinforcement of viewer understanding and support.

Digitization of Terrestrial TV Broadcast
Digitization of terrestrial TV broadcasting began in December 2003. Conventional analog broadcasting is scheduled to be terminated in July 24, 2011 for complete digitization.
This transition into digitization will enable high-resolution, high-audio-quality broadcasting (HDTV), data broadcasting, “one-seg” mobile telephone TV reception, interactive broadcasting, electronic program guide (EPG), multi-broadcasting (2 to 3 standard-quality programs broadcast in HDTV1 Channel), improvement of captioned broadcasts and control of dialogue speed.
In transmission, construction of relay stations has advanced to reach roughly 43.6 million households (approximately 93% of total households) as of March 31, 200821.
According to the consumer trends survey of the Cabinet Office, color TV dissemination has reached 99.7% of all households as of March 31, 200822. As of over 31st 2004, dissemination had reached 2140 units per 1000 households, or 2.4 units per household23.
The number of digital-enabled receivers stood at roughly 38.04 million units for BS transmission and roughly 35.83 million for terrestrial wave reception, as of June 30, 200824.
As issues to be addressed for full transition to digital broadcasting, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has indicated the need for winning popular understanding (presentation of necessary information, measures against fraudulent sales and scams and expansion and reinforcement of consumer consulting), dissemination of receivers (development and distribution of simple tuners, promotion and dissemination of user-friendly equipment, equipment purchase support to households receiving government assistance and effort to win interest and support of elderly and disabled persons), installation of shared reception facilities, construction of relay stations, transmission interference prevention measures, retransmission via cable TV and telecommunications circuits and use of broadcast satellite for estimated 350,000 households unable to receive digital transmission both physically and in terms of cost25. With digitization of terrestrial TV broadcast in 2011, studies are being conducted on introduction of “multimedia broadcasting for mobile phones with bandwidth that is to become available. The forms of multimedia broadcasting under review are video, audio & data, streaming (real-time broadcasts), file-based broadcast and service on the national scale, in regional blocs and to local communities. For dissemination and development, it is necessary to secure attractive digital content and to implement technical measures, including station installations. In relation to these issues, a study group under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication is considering “utilizing program content, technical expertise, etc., that NHK possesses.” More specifically, the possibilities considered are NHK involvement in content distribution promotion, securing natural disaster information and technology. In nationwide broadcast, it is possible for NHK to supply quality content for foreign citizens26.

Action on Legislation to Replace the Broadcasting Law
The Japanese government is presently conducting review into a system adapted to the integration and ordination of telecommunications and broadcasting and is planning to submit a bill on this issue in the plenary Diet session of 201027.
The objective is to consolidate the vertically structured broadcasting and telecommunications laws separated by broadcasting, cable TV, telecommunications and media, including the Broadcasting Law, into nine categories, into an “information and communication law” (tentative name) for regulatory organization extending across the board into these areas, including content and transmission infrastructure, and based on the policy of “technology neutrality” regardless of media used.
in past deliberations, broadcasting that had been conventionally classified under the names of “media service” is being studied into the form of preservation, maintenance and development of program-related regulatory scheme for both public and private broadcasting sectors, including guarantee of freedom of speech and program standards that are the objectives of the Broadcast Law, and also into what position NHK’s operations will be defined amid coordination and consolidation of broadcasting and telecommunications28.

Reorganization of NHK Satellite Broadcast Channels
The issue distinctive of NHK is reorganization of the satellite broadcast channels. Presently, its digital satellite broadcast channels are three, BS1, BS2 and BShi. BS1 and BS2 are simultaneous broadcasts based on the analog satellite transmission. BShi was created as an independent channel for high-resolution broadcasting, taking advantage of the strengths of digital technology. With analog broadcast is scheduled to be terminated in 2011, the broadcast channels are to be reviewed “on the assumption that the number of programs in the principal broadcast channel does not exceed 2.” It has also been pointed out that “8 channels for NHK is clearly too many for a public broadcasting service, considering the scarcity of bandwidth and the respective role of each channel29.” The government has issued as index for “detailed review on reduction of the (eight) channels held by NHK, particularly on satellite broadcasting, excluding channel used for resolving TV reception problems for certain households, for more effective use of the channels after reduction30.”
The ministry study group on this issue believes that having 2 channels for high-resolution broadcasting by NHK does not immediately lack justification at this point (July 3, 2008). However, it was pointed out that (1) approval of two channels does not, without conditions and requires that NHK is able to argue persuasively that it is to the benefit of the Japanese viewing public; (2) the added receiver fee scheme for the satellite broadcast service must be proven to produce benefit worthy of the charge; (4) it must perform its responsibility and role as public service through satellite broadcasting; (5) attention must be paid to the position and function of satellite broadcasting in public broadcasting service; and (6) the existing channels must be reviewed if it is found that the role and functions as public broadcasting service are not performed adequately or if it can be fulfilled more effectively with other means. Moreover, NHK was asked to take practical action on reorganization of its channels31.

Fair Coverage of Receiver Fees
Receiver fees that are the principal source of funding for NHK are neither a taxation nor compensation from the legal perspective and were interpreted as “special fee.” However, there are now problems that must be resolved, such as the growth AWARENESS toward information and services, “free riders” who denied viewing despite actual viewing, and owners of terrestrial/BS/CS receiver equipment being required to conclude satellite broadcast contract when moving into a residential environment that has shared satellite broadcast reception facility, cost of fee collection and research into new residences of subscribers, etc. In particular, a growing number of viewers have refused or suspended payment with the program production expenditure embezzlement of 2004, with “30% of households becoming non-payers32.” The current state of receiver contracts as of March 31, 2007 shows the total number of contracts to be 47.04 million (including households and business enterprises) of which 33.2 million (70.6%) paying the fees and 2.98 million (6.3%) not paying (including those refusing or suspending payment). 10.86 million (23.1%) do not have contracts. The number of non-payments has increased especially after 200433. As of March 31, 2008, there are signs of improvement in payment seen in growth in earnings. However, it has not recovered to its peak in 2003. In October 2006, NHK commenced payment solicitations based on civil proceedings. In June 2008, it commenced civil proceedings against persons refusing to conclude receiver fee contracts.
The Ministry study group is demanding “uninterrupted review in the receiver fee scheme” and “uninterrupted review into policy on the satellite broadcast receiver fee scheme” for fair coverage of receiver fees34.

The Future of Public Broadcasting
The Broadcasting Law defined the status and operations of NHK as public broadcasting service financed with receiver fees. Also, it defined broadcasting from the standpoint of guaranteeing freedom of expression.
When the law took effect, broadcasting was in radio transmission only. Later with the debut of the television set, commercialization of cable TV and satellite broadcasting, broadcasting with telecommunications circuits (broadcast via telecommunications & IP multicast), etc., a variety of service operators have begun a wide range of services with diverse modes of transmission. After analog-wave broadcast is terminated in 2011, diversification in broadcasting, multi-channel broadcasting and competition among channels and media are expected to intensify, with start of terrestrial multimedia broadcasting and addition of channels in BS digital broadcasting.
The Broadcast Law defines broadcasting as “wireless transmission aimed at direct reception by the general public” (Article 2-1) and stipulated a number of standards on broadcasting, alongside creation of NHK as public service. Today, this law is being studied for reorganization as “horizontally structured” legislation covering media linked to broadcasting. Amid these developments, it is necessary to the function of broadcast in contributing to freedom of expression defined in the Broadcast Law, as well as to the law’s coverage of program standards and into the framework for NHK organization and operation as a public broadcasting service.
Especially since 2004, NHK has seen rise in problems, from the program production expenditure embezzlement scandal, concern over its distance with politics, insider trading, and other incidents that erode viewer trust to issues pertaining to viewers, such as fair coverage of receiver fees, recovery of viewer trust and expansion of its viewer base.

In the deliberations into new legislation, studies must be conducted not only to responding precisely to the future of public broadcasting but also to its reason for existence and social function in face of growing competition vis-a-vis channels and media and to winning the understanding and support of viewers.


1. NHK, History of Broadcasting in the 20th Century, K.K. Nippon Hoso Shuppan Kyokai, March 25, 2001

2. Soh, Hiroshi, with Eiichi Matsuda & Shuichi Murai, Commentary on Radio Law, Broadcast Law and Radio Regulatory Committee Law, Nisshin Shuppaan, July 20, 1950, p. 288

3. Toshio Kataoka, New Broadcasting Theory, NHK Shuppan, December 10, 2001, p. 75

4. Soh, Hiroshi, et al, Commentary on Radio Law, Broadcast Law and Radio Regulatory Committee Law, p. 287

5. No. 1 Minutes of the 7th Telecommunications Committee, House of Representatives, January 24, 1950, p. 20

6. NHK, Rebirth of NHK and Pursuit of Public Service in the Digital Age: FY2006-2008 NHK Management Plan, January 2006, p.2

7. Shimizu, Nagoki, “Direction in Broadcast Program Regulation,” Research & Information No. 597, National Diet Library, October 25, 2007

8. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, “Action on the Program Issue,” March 30, 2007

9. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, “Information and Communication White Paper 2008” Gyosei, July 15, 2008, p. 151

10. Ibid, p. 148

11. Kanazawa, Kaoru, Commentary on Provisions of the Broadcast Law, Denkitsushin Shinkou Kai, April 1, 2006, p.111

12. NHK, FY 2007 NHK Business Report, p.68

13. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, Final Report on the Current State and Issues of Receiver Fee System for Fair Coverage,” July 4, 2008, p. 5

14. NHK, FY 2007 NHK Business Report, p.78

15. The Council on the Movement of People Across Borders, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Five Recommendations on Strengthening Japan’s Capability of Dissemination, June 20, 2007; Information and Communications Council, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, Approach and Policy to Promote ‘International Video Broadcasting for Foreign Nationals,’ August 2, 2007; Report of the Council on the Movement of People Across Borders, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Measures and System for Strengthening Japan’s Capability of Dissemination: Increasing the Number of Fans and People with Understanding of Japan, February 2008

16. NHK, 1066th Board of Governors Minutes, April 8, 2008

17. NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute, Findings of June 2008 Nationwide Research of Individual Viewing Rate

18. NHK, FY 2007 NHK “Promises” Evaluation Report, May 27, 2008, pp. 13-14 & p. 25 19. NHK Board of Governors, Summary of Important Review Items Contributing to Long-Range Planning, March 11, 2008

20. NHK, Viewer Service Report 2008, p. 53

21. Ibid, “Information and Communication White Paper 2008,” p. 191

22. Cabinet Office, Dissemination Rates for Principal Durable Consumer Goods, Etc. (General Households) (as of March 31, 2008)

23. Sadistic Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Family Income and Expenditure Survey, 2004

24. NHK, Digital Broadcast News, July 3, 2008

25. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, Comprehensive Program to Promote Terrestrial Digital Broadcasting, 24.07.08

26. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Study Group Report on Approaches to Multimedia Broadcast Services for Mobile Phones, July 15, 2008, p. 30

27. “Coalition Party Agreement on Telecommunications and Broadcasting,” July 20, 2006, “Program on Telecommunications & Broadcasting Reform Process,” September 1, 2006 & “2006 Basic Policy on Economic & Fiscal Management and Structural Reform,” July 7, 2006

28. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Report on Comprehensive Law System for Communications and Broadcasting, December 6, 2007; Comprehensive Law System for Communications and Broadcasting (Interim Summary), June 13, 2008

29. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Study Group Report on Approaches to Telecommunications and Broadcasting, June 6, 2006, p. 9

30. Ibid, “Coalition Party Agreement on Telecommunications and Broadcasting,” & “Program on Telecommunications & Broadcasting Reform Process”

31. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Final Report on the Number of Satellite Broadcasting Channels Helped by NHK, June 3, 2008

32. NHK Study Group on the Digital Age, What Is Sought in NHK Public Broadcasting: Prospects for Recovery and the New Age, July 19, 2006, pp. 7-9

33. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, First Report on the Current State and Issues of Receiver Fee System for Fair Coverage,” November 14, 2007, p. 3

34. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, Final Report on the Current State and Issues of Receiver Fee System for Fair Coverage,” July 4, 2008, p. 31

Mafumi Murase

Professor, Department of Communication and Media Studies, Rikkyo University

Graduated from Department of Political Science, Faculty of Law, Gakushuin University, Tokyo in 1969. M.A. in Law conferred in 1971 by Graduate School of Meiji University, Tokyo. Joined NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai, or Japan Broadcasting Corporation) in 1971. Present position from 2006, after working at NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute as a senior researcher. Expertise: Broadcast Theories and Communication Policies. Publications: Co-authored Mass media of Japan Illustrated, Edited by Akira FUJITAKE, Japan Broadcast Publishing, Tokyo

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