crime

Man arrested for spraying NHK fee collector with fire extinguisher

44 Comments
By SoraNews24

This has been a pretty good year for the Protect the Nation from NHK Party. Following impassioned campaign speeches, a recent election win has snagged them their first ever seat in the National Diet through which they can continue to push their agenda of ending the heavy handed fee collection tactics of Japan’s public broadcaster NHK.

It has also thrust the party into the mainstream media’s spotlight and even earned them an shorthand name in the press of “N-Koku” (N-Country).

This should all come as good news for an unidentified 34-year-old Vietnamese man who was arrested on Saturday for assaulting an NHK collector with a fire extinguisher.

The incident took place on Aug 15, when the NHK representative knocked on the suspect’s door. Details of the conversation have not been reported yet.

For the uninitiated with this kind of visit, these collectors will demand that you sign their TV license agreements and flat out refuse to take any excuse not to. Regardless of whether you actually watch NHK or even don’t own a TV, they will not leave until you sign on the dotted line.

Japanese people have grown accustomed to this situation by mostly refusing to answer their own door. Foreign residents new to this nation, however, might not be, so the suspect allegedly did what he thought was right in the presence of an apparent extortionist, and sprayed him in the face with a fire extinguisher.

The NHK collector immediately called the police and pressed charges against the Vietnamese man who was in Japan training as a technical intern. The suspect reportedly told police, “I didn’t understand what the other person was saying.”

The investigation is still ongoing, but Japanese netizens are coming out in full support of the suspect.

“Well done!”

“The guy is totally in the right. He was being forced to sign a contract that he couldn’t fully understand.”

“A little excessive, but I can sympathize with him.”

“Crush NHK!”

“Of course anyone not familiar with NHK would view those collectors as suspicious. Someone comes to your home and demands money. What else are you going to do?”

“This wouldn’t even be a problem if they just scrambled the channel already.”

“Tachibana! Help this man!”

The last comment is calling upon the leader of N-Koku, Takashi Tachibana, who is now currently serving in the House of Councillors. Given Tachinbana’s flare for the dramatic, it would be hard to imagine he doesn’t get all over this case in a very public fashion.

It’s early though, and hard to tell where this incident will lead. Nevertheless, it is just one more instance that shows that this unusual funding system needs a major reform, or the next misunderstanding might end up much worse than a face full of foam.

Source: Kyodo via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- “NHK Repelling Stickers” free for anyone wanting to keep away Japan’s public TV fee collectors

-- NHK bill collector arrested for kissing woman on the job: “I thought we were hitting it off!”

-- Japan’s public broadcaster goes thug-style, tags the house of man who refuses to pay fees

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

44 Comments
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I don't agree with potentially injuring him seriously. The one time I did recently accidentally open the door for the NHK collector, I just apologized and said I don't Japanese. That's all it took.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

He’s probably a fan of the newly elected “destroy NHK” congressman.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don't agree with potentially injuring him seriously. The one time I did recently accidentally open the door for the NHK collector, I just apologized and said I don't Japanese. That's all it took.

That doesn't always work. A lot of these guys are borderline thugs, so I am not surprised that a Vietnamese guy with limited Japanese experience may have misinterpreted the situation.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The NHK guy is just doing his job, I hope that moron get punished propperly..

-24 ( +2 / -26 )

NHK has only themselves to blame for their dismal reputation.

To make matters worse, NHK has a gorgeous building with all kinds of artistic curves in glass and stone near my home. Doesn't really look like they are short on cash....

19 ( +20 / -1 )

I’ve answered the door to these guys and basically refused to pay and have had them continuously ring my doorbell for some time after.

This is harassment.

Thumbs up to the Vietnamese lad!

13 ( +16 / -3 )

The NHK guy is just doing his job, I hope that moron get punished propperly.

It's not NHK guy, NHK use third party to do their fee collection. For any of you that had experience with them some collector can be very insisting to enter your room or house to check whether you have TV or not. While others insist you to sign the form and will charge you on monthly based.

These collector know that not all foreigners is familiar with the situation so they can insist it's in the law, while that's not the actual case.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Kentarogaijin - The NHK guy is just doing his job, I hope that moron get punished propperly..

He is not 'an NHK guy'. He is a hired thug! I have had many run-ins with these scalpers over the years. Some of the collectors are very aggressive and come across as Yakuza extortionists collecting protection money. It is no surprise a foreigner who is relatively new to Japan with limited Japanese skills felt threatened and defended himself.

sensei258 - I don't agree with potentially injuring him seriously. The one time I did recently accidentally open the door for the NHK collector, I just apologized and said I don't Japanese. That's all it took.

I tried the "I don't Japanese" excuse a few years ago too, but two days later they showed up with an English speaking thug. I just told them I don't watch Japanese TV (which is true) and closed the door. I had another joker who, after I explained I don't have a TV capable of receiving NHK broadcasts, told me I had to pay because I watch DVDs. I just laughed in his face and closed the door. However, NHK has recently changed the way they broadcast extending it to Android devices and are now going to start live streaming on the internet. This means there will be no excuses to avoid paying their extortion fees. They have also made it an offense not to pay and people can be fined for non-compliance. It's just another extortion scam like the Japanese pension scheme/scam. They make everybody pay it regardless of the circumstances. Stand defiant people! Don't pay it!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

these fee collectors are shady. they are not even NHK employees they are outsourced. Once of them tried to push me and get into my house. He said "this is not America let me in" I pushed him back and told me to give me his business card. He left. Two months later another guy came, I said I am never paying until I get an apology. They have not been back since that was 2 years ago...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

NHK is like a religion.

They support Jp govn. no matter what, which is not neutral at all as news media.

Imposing the citizens subscription fee if they have a TV set is insane and Jp govn. support this?

What a joke.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

they broadcast extending it to Android devices and are now going to start live streaming on the internet.

No need to worry about that, current law stated that only households that have device that can receive terrestrial broadcast that need to pay. Only if you have phone that have 1seg feature, mostly only Japanese phone.

Of course those collector usually use false argument that anyone who have smartphone/PC need to pay since it can be used as streaming NHK, so far current broadcasting law not have no say about that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

When we moved, we got rid of our TV and never got a new one. The guy who came to get us to sign up actually refused to step in our house to confirm if we had a TV or not (we offered to let him come in and look). He simply left and never came back.

A few months later we got a contract in the mail and a bill for back fees. I merely called NHK HQ customer service and, being the jerk that I am, spoke only in English. I told them I don’t have a TV, and they said OK then we will void the contract and you don’t owe us anything. They haven’t been back since, and this was about 6 years ago. Dunno, maybe I got lucky?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Made my day!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@swift_wx - When we moved, we got rid of our TV and never got a new one. The guy who came to get us to sign up actually refused to step in our house to confirm if we had a TV or not (we offered to let him come in and look). He simply left and never came back.

This is because they are not permitted to enter anyone's home.

"they broadcast extending it to Android devices and are now going to start live streaming on the internet."

@sakurasuki - No need to worry about that, current law stated that only households that have device that can receive terrestrial broadcast that need to pay. Only if you have phone that have 1seg feature, mostly only Japanese phone.

Actually, that is incorrect. The law was changed to include Android devices and even car navigation systems. The law for internet streaming has not been instigated as yet, but it is in the pipeline.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I had a few bother me over the years.

Don't speak Japanese.

Im just visiting.

has done it in the past.

I had one really insistent guy, he said you have to you have to, I said as I understand it, if I make a contract I have to pay but if I don't make a contract there is nothing you can do then I said find come back with a police man that says I have to sign the contract I will, until then stay away from my house.. didn't ever come back.

I can't think of the last time I watched anything on it... the only time really is during emergencies, and their very politically influenced coverage of the 3/11 and following nuclear situation put me off for good.

If its a tax put it in the taxes..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I had one pay me a visit the very day I got my first TV. He literally appeared about 5 mins after I turned it on, and it was visible from the door. He said, "Ah, I see you have a TV," to which I replied "Sorry....". I signed up because I thought I was breaking the law or something.

That was 20 years ago. I've been paying ever since......................

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Hilarious

but what do they expect seriously, harassing people like this. While I'm not condoning the mans reaction, the NHk goon had it coming

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Many years ago I used the "I don't understand anything" approach. A while later they sent an English speaker. He seemed very pleased with himself as he explained the situation in great detail (in very good English). He was extremely deflated when I told him in French that "I don't understand anything". They didn't come back for a long time.

I quite like the comedy approach of the fire extinguisher approach though.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Just say no, shut the door, or better yet,

don't answer it.

No need to injure a guy doing his gig,

no matter how crap it is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is this heavy handed approach with NHK mainly a city thing? I've been here 5 years now (out in the sticks) and not once have been asked about paying any fees.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As has been pointed out already these State Broadcaster "collectors" are outsourced and actually receive extra "pay" if they browbeat someone into coughing up.

Imagine the response from the usual suspects if it was China or South Korea doing this....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

disillusioned- The law was changed to include Android devices

That's incorrect, the law hasn't changed at all, it's not because it's Android device but because certain Android with 1Seg capabilities that can receive terrestrial broadcast for example REGZA T-01C.

disillusioned- and even car navigation systems. 

Not because it's car navigation systems but because it has additional feature that can receive radio and TV broadcast. As long you have car navigation system that doesn't have that capability, you don't need to pay.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In my recent experience, once I realized I had let the NHK collector in, I stepped into the hallway and locked the door of my mansion. But in all fairness, I have to say that that one collector was very pleasant and polite. Once I told him I couldn't speak Japanese and he would have to wait for my wife to come home, he handed me a couple of pamphlets and left. Maybe he was just happy that he didn't get ignored this one time. LOL

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Violence is never a solution, but I must say these nhk guys are really persistent.

The other day I met one near my house he followed me till my entrance and when I wanted to close the door he stepped in so I couldn’t close the it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You can choose your job, cold calling people to demand money is probably not the first choice. If it is you have a problem. Does it pay more than a convenience store? Personally I switch languages if one of them suddenly knocks on my door. The job is so stupid can only guess they also are stupid.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The NHK collector immediately called the police and pressed charges against the Vietnamese man who was in Japan training as a technical intern. The suspect reportedly told police, “I didn’t understand what the other person was saying.”

Being unable to understand what the collector is saying is not a valid reason to use a fire extinguisher so I suspect the NHK collector was aggressive as they all are. We all dream about doing this but the powder in extinguishers are chemical so you can really hurt someone, plus now he is also being sued so he made the problem bigger.

So, is that NHK party doing something about the NHK or was it just a stunt?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most are agents on commission only. Never had a problem. Tell them I don't have a TV, which is true and they leave and apologize for disturbing me. It was wrong to use violence against the agent.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This is what you can do and this really worked. Take out a 1,000 yen bill and tell them you will donate 1,000 yen in CASH on the spot and to come back each year for this same donation because although NHK is very important to the public (and they are) the fact you never watch NHK means it's not fair to pay them what they want each month. Take out 1,000 yen and try to give it to him (or her) and insist this is the only way you will give to NHK. Eventually he gave up and walked away. Why use a fire extinguisher when a 1,000 yen bill will do the job to keep them away (just not as fast but 100% legal). They will not take "no" for an answer just because you say you never watch actual TV.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I pay NHK.

This is the only channel I let my daughter watch.

Ok content, free of ads and educative.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Until the law is changed and there are criminal penalties for non-payment, you do not have to pay, and you cannot legally be forced to sign a contract under duress. Passing such a law will render the concept of contract law meaningless in Japan, and it's hard to imagine NHK beginning criminal proceedings for non-payment. Judgements by family courts essentially have no real enforcement mechanism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We all know about NHK but imagine if some guy shows up at your door harassing you to sign something you have no idea what and you don't speak his language.. Hardly matters if its the law, you can't know that. And this guy won't go away and is very insistent...and he is probably trying to get into your apartment as well. The guy could be from the government or he could be from the yakuza (same if you ask me). He could be an angel or he could be Satan himself, but the more he lingers and presses the more you will be convinced its the latter. I say, he is lucky he did not get a frying pan over the head.

And BTW, NHK does not get to pass the buck to collection agencies. And neither of them get to pass the buck to individual collectors. They are ALL in the wrong, every single one of them. You don't press people to pay for services they did NOT already sign for, don't want, and can't block. I may as well go around my neighborhood insisting on payment for English lessons. And when they say they are not my students I just reply "Well that's not my problem. You COULD knock on my door for your one hour lesson each week. I am right there, always available, even if you don't want or use me!" its not just crazy. Its robbery!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't like Japanese TV shows, I don't watch Japanese TV shows, I don't understand Japanese to watch Japanese TV shows.

I was harrassed into signing the contract with a threat of legal action against me if I disn't. It felt like I was a victim of an extorsionist with no way to escape it. I had to sign the d**m contract.

Three years later, I am still paying an excess of ¥10,000 a year. I call it the "NHK MAFIA".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is why its important to live in an apt with auto lock. Keep them shady NHK people away from my front door. Worse case, i just have to hang up the inter com.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NHK is starting to be out of place nowadays since it,s more like for old people and old people can,t live forever...

nothing justifies violence though...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Just two them you don't have a TV (haven't owned one for a decade). Worked for me most of the time. And if they insist that you still have to pay coz you have internet, just shut the door in their faces. Also worked for me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NHK & BBC are Dinosaur institutions which need to be Commercialized. The BBC particularly since it's Home Programming has seriously deteriorated over the past 30 years. Most TVs are now digital, which means channels can be made subscriber based, authenticated by the "cards" inserted into those Digital TVs. Forcing the Nation to pay for one provider is undemocratic and essentially another Tax.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I should also say Monopolistic in terms of Fee's since if you have to pay the NHK/BBC fee - then you are less likely to pay for another provider as well, therefore your choice is being restricted, and this is effectively anti-competitive.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That all said, If you are a Cable-TV subscriber, then I wonder if you are paying your NHK fees indirectly through the provider ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well... hard to know what to think without seeing how aggressive the NHK guy was. I have seen two types, since I have moved here six times. One type, and I did exactly what the article stated -- opened the door without thinking -- was a very kind man. I told him I don't understand Japanese (I didn't really at the time). Later he came back, and I only answered the door because he wouldn't stop ringing the doorbell (and I was in the midst of... well... "entertaining" my girlfriend the time). This time he brought an explanation in about 10 languages that said I had to pay. I said I had no TV (which was a lie). He asked if I could come in, I pointed out that I was in my underwear and said no way. He seemed uncomfortable, fortunately, and left. After that, I stopped answering my door when I didn't expect someone. The other type was the aggressive butt-hole who won't take silence for an answer. In my second apartment here I had the guy literally pound on my door until it broke, knowing I was inside, and screaming that I had to pay. He left maybe an hour later. He actually tried to contact the land lady, who came to my apartment later and said it would be better to pay because he is "an angry and scary man", until I pointed to my door and that it would not open or close properly. She then said, "Well... I can move you to another apartment in the building if you would like to avoid him," but almost seemed on the verge of laughter when I suggested calling the police would be a better option.

If it's the latter type of guy, I applaud the Vietnamese man. NHK should not be mandatory, it should be something you choose, and choose to pay for. I am 100% for a system that simply has zero broadcast if you pay for nothing. If the man felt he was in danger, I don't blame him for that either. If he did it simply out of being inconvenienced, I agree it was assault, as much as you may despise the NHK man.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I would like this question answered.

Did the NHK collector try to enter the house ?

If some one tried to enter my house i would defend myself with what was handy.

So him using a fire extinguisher to stop an intruder is no surprise.

I wonder if it was a powder extinguisher ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I said I was not paying and told them to stop transmitting. When she became very insistent, I asked her to send me a fine in the mail for not paying. That worked - she went away and nothing happened.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why don't NHK urge GOVT. to pass a law that allow seller to collect a life time NHK fee at the time of TV purchase( from shop or online).

It can finished all issues.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All you have to do is make your own fake NHK sticker. They will never knock on your door again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

On the matter of entering your house, is there a warrant that can be obtained by Companies, that would allow them to legally enter your property when even not invited to do so ?

Are they legally allowed to tress-pass on your property in the first place ?

Are you entitled to throw an individual off your land if they are tress-passing upon it ?

If they get aggressive to you, and start pushing you around what are your rights ?

Getting involved in a physical confrontation with a Japanese Person is a concern, as I suspect they will always be seen in favorable light (even if wrong), which would then make you a Criminal, and subject to having your Residency permit withdrawn.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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