entertainment

NHK apologizes for April Fool's Day Twitter joke

65 Comments

Public broadcaster NHK on Tuesday released a statement apologizing for misleading viewers after an April Fool's Day joke was deemed inappropriate.

The broadcaster published a joke Sunday on its official Twitter feed in which it claimed that all broadcasters in Japan were to be merged into one giant, state-owned broadcaster and that the news would henceforth be read by a woman in a kimono, in an alarming tone (in an apparent reference to how North Korean newscasters read the news).

NHK, which received a barrage of inquiries from viewers, says that the tweet has since been deleted.

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65 Comments
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Maybe the whole April Fools Day thing hasn't quite caught on yet? Why try too hard to be European NHK?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

As far as April Fools jokes go, that WAS pretty funny. Now, I am no fan of this tradition and could easily without it but what's really sad with this story is that NHK so easily backpedals. Why? It was a joke, was it not. But the are scared of the pathetic no-lifers that have nothing better to do than to call a tv station and complain.

And, to top it off, they DELETE their tweet? As if that would make things better?

Stand by your joke, I say. Stick it to the people who can't take a joke and let them sit on their tatami and get aggravated.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

NHK should just close down already. The content that they offer on TV is total useless in every aspect. The shows that they air on TV makes no sense at all and are just plain stupid.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

April fools day in Japan ? forget it, it's not going to go down to well. Maybe another 20 years before it can go mainstream. By the way, check out some of the April fools day jokes from "Gmail tap", "Google maps 8-bit", "Chrome Multitask" and "Entire Youtube on DVD", it's hilarious!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree with spuds and tairitsuiken. That was a great joke!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Ditto others on the good joke! We actually watch NHK frequently since 3/11 and find quite a lot of quality programming there. This years taiga drama is quite good.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do you have to be a fool to acknowledge the first day of April? What a nonsensical excuse for a... Holiday? Ahhh! I get it! The joke is that you don't get a holiday or time off! Haha...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

That was a pretty good one, especially coming from a major station like NHK. Nice that they have a sense of humor.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Good for NHK showing theyve got a bit of life to them!

But sadly in a country where rugby supporters have to be instructed to "have more fun" I am not surprised it didnt go down well.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The content that they offer on TV is total useless in every aspect. The shows that they air on TV makes no sense at all and are just plain stupid.

Tell you what, pal. You stick to brain numbing variety shows and extremely poorly acted 'drama'. Leave the real TV to the grown-ups, eh? Oh, and well done to NHK for at least attempting to be funny. It isn't your fault that the Japanese public doesn't have a sense of humour...

6 ( +9 / -3 )

NHK souldn't have bothered apologizing - that makes THEM the April fool!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Apologizing defeats the whole purpose of the "joke". The Japan Times ran an article that said Tokyo Sky Tree was going to offer bungee jumping, which I'm sure caught a few people, too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maybe some Yomiuri readers thought that the fact that it was an April Fools joke was inappropriate, especially if they already hanged all their Hinomaru flags outside their cement block houses in celebration of it.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Come on - they did show a good sense of humour with this... why apologize for other people's lack of it?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

come on, japan! have a sense of humor for goodness sakes!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

NHK tries to be cool and fails

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

they should have started sunday with shimura ken in kimono reading the news :p

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ha! - made my morning! To bad it is a joke; a friend of mine who does a PERFECT NK anchor imitation could have gotten the job! Looked it up and here it is:

【お知らせ】本日、NHKと全ての民放が合併して国営放送になりました。 今後は日本放送会社木履連盟(NHKPR)として、着物を着たアナウンサー が青い背景の前で、やや絶叫気味にニュースをお伝えする予定です。 今後ともNHKPRの活動にご理解をよろしくお願いいたします。 #エイプリルフール

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Dennis

they should have started sunday with shimura ken in kimono reading the news :p

As Bakatono? Yeah, that would be funny.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thank you Laguna. And it was even labeled "April fool." Can't see a problem. "やや絶叫気味に" ("in a somewhat alarmed tone") made me laugh.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

hahahahahahahahahaha! Nice one NHK!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Quite hilarious. The problem is that most of the japanese public do not have any idea of subtle humour.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

RTE, the Irish national broadcaster, does something like this every year.

The two I remember best are: one - an announcement that asa result of an EU directive, Polo mints (not sure how many people know them) would no longer be allowed to have a hole in the centre.

The other I remember was an announcement that all people with a certain banknote in their possession (5 or 10 pound note, I think) which was printed after a certian date would need to go to the bank to exchange it as the metal ribbon in it, to deter counterfeits, was made of some metal that would do damage to your body in some way. Loads of people responded to that one.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well done NHK, and stick with it next time! :-)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

all broadcasters in Japan were to be merged into one giant, state-owned broadcaster and that the news would henceforth be read by a woman in a kimono, in an alarming tone (in an apparent reference to how North Korean newscasters read the news).

lol'd ty

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Awesome!

Its tough however when a nation has no sense of irony.

A more likely Japanese April Fools joke would be to have a salaryman go to his office, only to find that his security card doesnt work! Bah ha ha ha ha ha!!

And then a transvestite runs around the corner and pours delicious ramen on him! Aaah ha ha ha ha!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Haha, that's a great April's fools tweet. No need to apologise to us, NHK.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I didnt have chance to make April fools ..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ironically, Japanese April Fools jokes catch me off-guard... more so than in America... I still remember the stolen Hachiko joke a few years back; I actually had to check!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ha-ha, great joke! And thanks for the original text Laguna. From it even me (the foreigner) can read that it was "April fool". They actually told their readers it was a joke. This only confirms that (well bashing mode) Japanese are fools in general :-)

What I mean is everything has to be chewed and explained to the smallest detail for the average person to be "digested". I really think that everything has gone too far with the "pampering" of the consumers. Majority can not think for themselves.

Ooh, but it was NHK so here we come... Actually if you compare their programs to the private channels I find why we need NHK.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

NHK recieved a barrage of inquiries, and probably also complaints. But I don't think NHK has received a barrage of support, thus the weak actions. Did any of you call to voice your support for the joke? Doubt it. I am pretty sure it was just the fools, and thus, its the fools' voices that will be heard.

If anyone was upset, I suspect it was because the joke awoke them from their Japanese style zombie trance, and they thought they might have to wake up, get off their butts and do something to protect the freedom they prefer to take for granted.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Very funny! Much more so than Japanese media's usual hit someone on the head and roll around laughing slapstick humor.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A couple of things surprise me here. 1) There are twitter followers, even Japanese ones, that don't have a sense of humor. How can you take any broadcast known as a "tweet" seriously. 2) This joke came from the good folks at NHK. I wouldn't think they had it in them to turn out such a good joke.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

April fools / April tools.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese majority has no sense of humor.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That was a good one! Making fun of North Korea was one thing I though they could never do!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whoever tweeted from NHK should become the president. Or at least taken out to a good izakaya. That was hiliarious! Probably too many NK sympathizers or maybe kimono haters at NHK? No sense of humor! Better luck next year and do no apologize! That is the whole point!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NHK, which received a barrage of inquiries from viewers, says that the tweet has since been deleted.

Take it easy, it was a freaking joke. Get a sense of humor. I mean, it's so over the top, who would take that as factual edict?

What's funny is they backpedal on a joke.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

lol Sounded like a good joke.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hate NHK however NHK should not have apologized. This is what April Fools is about and if anybody doesn't like, they should tell them to go shove it. Is Japan going to become like the states now where you can't say anything without somebody taking offense?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Funny. I just wish all the sensitive ninnies out there would stop whining and forcing people to apologize for jokes - especially on a day where they are supposed to be acceptable.. NHK should have just said nothing and moved on. People have such short attention spans that they forget things anyway.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Jeez! Don't bother pulling an April Fool's Day prank if all you're going to do is apologize for it later.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Spineless clowns at NHK. If anybody should apologize it is all idiots who took this seriously.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can read between the lines and make the guess that members of DPRK's community here in Japan voiced the loudest complaints. They may even have accused NHK of discrimination, which word would have made everyone drop everything and freeze, backpedal or whatever.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ha! Nice one NHK.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

probably one of the funniest things I have read here in 2decades!!

And the pull it & apologise.....NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I love it. Great joke and should not be apologies for. Maybe next time NHK can announce a cure for "lacking a sense of humour"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Geez, NHK. Grow a pair.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ah... that was actually pretty funny!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I didn't think NHK had it in them! Cool....sad they tucked tail and appologized.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Brilliant! I'd missed it. Seconding madmel, too bad they apologized for it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If they did it in Boke/Tsukkomi style, the country would still be laughing today

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apologizing defeats the whole purpose of the "joke". The Japan Times ran an article that said Tokyo Sky Tree was going to offer bungee jumping, which I'm sure caught a few people, too.

My grandama wants her money back for the Sky Tree Bungee Tour she was sold.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good joke! Poor PR backpedal....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I asked around at work and basically heard the opinion that if it had been done in an English Twitter feed it would be ok, but it's not acceptable to do April Fools type jokes in Japanese since it's not a part of the culture.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nice to see they had a sense of humour, but shame to see others who did not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ban april fools day!!!!!

hahahaha...........................................

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is nothing to apologize for. Doesn't NHK think that the Japanese can handle a joke?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The problem was nobody thought it was a joke. It's close enough to political possibility to be real. Certainly Ishihara Shintaro and his gang of thieves and hoodlums would approve of it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Personally, I feel that April Fool's Day is one western 'tradition' I would rather not be adopted in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think it was funny--especially the reference to N. Korean newscasters. Seeing video clips of the N. Korean newscasters reporting the death of Kim Jong-Il, wearing their hanboks and speaking through quivering voices and tears, imagining NHK newscasters doing the same kind of made me laugh.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whether it's joking, bluffing and no matter what, NHK should remind that they're a national broad casting service provider. If they make any comment through SNS service like twitter, it would be regarded as a kind of national public comment. Why? it's because they're run by the country and it's paid tax....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whether it's joking, bluffing and no matter what, NHK should remind that they're a national broad casting service provider. If they make any comment through SNS service like twitter, it would be regarded as a kind of national public comment. Why? it's because they're run by the country and it's paid tax.....

I agree, sakasama. I hope you made a very earnest complaint to NHK and also wrote to the prime minister and Emperor, explaining your concerns. Japan is not a matter for joking and it is important to take everything very, very seriously.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

NHK cant do anything. They are basically owned by the government.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NHK did not need to apologize. I thought nice joke!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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