entertainment

NHK to launch all-English international TV broadcasting service

36 Comments
By Taro Fujimoto

Public broadcaster NHK will make its Japanese/English bilingual international broadcasting service “NHK World TV” Japan's first 24-hour all-English news channel on Feb 2, NHK and its subsidiary commercial company Japan International Broadcasting (JIB) Inc announced Wednesday.

“Without an all-English international broadcasting service, Japan will be always left behind in global trends. We have to be more active in the international arena," said Hatsuhisa Takashima, president and CEO of JIB Inc. NHK and JIB expect the current global viewership of 80 million to increase to 110 million this fiscal year

NHK World TV will be available from Feb 2 in about 70 countries and regions in the world through satellite and cable television as well as its Internet website. The existing “NHK World Premium” will mainly target Japanese expats, according to NHK.

Yoshinori Imai, vice president of NHK, said, “As for editorial independence, NHK is guaranteed control. The most important thing is fair, balanced news. Our responsibility is to show the world how government policies and public opinion are formed in Japan.”

Takashima, who is a former NHK journalist and press secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also said, “A critical eye on what is happening in Japan is necessary for journalistic work.” He cited the Arab network Al-Jazeera as a successful example that provides diversified viewpoints on global issues.

The new channel is funded by resources from NHK, including tax money and viewer fees, and JIB, which is owned by NHK and private companies, such as commercial TV stations and telecommunication companies. The service will broadcast commercial advertisements and publish banner ads on its website. For more information, visit: www.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/

© Japan Today

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36 Comments
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Wow who would have thought this in this day and age? I didn't expect this for another 20 years. Wonder how they are going to collect the fees for it. Maybe just tell all the 'honest' souls/fools in Japan that the sudden spike in their fees is to make up for us non-payers. And the Japanese expats will get it free.

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The most important thing is fair, balanced news.

Does that mean it'll be completely different to the NHK terrestrial, domestic channel? For example, there won't be any pressure from the government to talk about Japanese kidnapped by N Koreans every single day?

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Our responsibility is to show the world how government policies and public opinion are formed in Japan.

They don't really want to show the world that, do they???

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Let's be honest, they're only doing this so they can now demand fees from us when we all plead ignorance and don't watch NHK. ;)

And really, this is a huge waste of time and money from them. I certainly will not be tuning into NHK when I already have cable with BBC, CNN, Fox... They can't compete with these guys so I really don't know why they are bothering.

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they can demand fees all they want, unless there is a law to back them up they can't do a thing if you tell the NHK man to get lost

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If the service is in English, they will be trounced by the BBC and others. Why bother?

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I think they should make Moe Oshikiri a newscaster for this service.

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Pukey2 - Expecting plenty of abduction shows to be broadcast on this channel. Got to abide by government policy.

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If the service is in English, they will be trounced by the BBC and others. Why bother?

I'm sure the purpose will be to drum up tourism and cultural interest in Japan, so It really won't be trying to compete with the beeb's global news org. It can't compete with that, so happy propaganda would be the smartest thing to do.

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I don't think it can be worse than watching CNN.

If I want to watch a true International TV station, then BBC World is the only one that ticks all the boxes.

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I hope they don't show any of Aso's speeches with the other politicians openly heckling him, or talking to each other, or sleeping. It makes Japan's government look like an inner-city kindergarten where the teachers don't care to teach kids manners anymore. Wait, it pretty much is the same as a kindergarten. But still, I would think that would be embarrassing to show the world. Esp. compared to the audience at an Obama speech or conference. But still, that really irks me to see grown adults who can't keep their mouth shut when the person at the front of the room is speaking. Very childish.

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Foreign policy by another name. I would assume that this service will be used by the government to try and get the "Japan Message" out to the (foreign) heathen hordes. Best of luck with it. At the same time, however, if they think they can get away with pushing the cultural wheelbarrow on this channel, interest will soon fad.

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Sammi I hope they do show that crap - maybe other countries would pick up on it all and they would finally change out of looking like fools. Japanese mentality - only bad if I get caught. Having a bunch of guys in suits on their keitais and sleeping during the PM talks would certainly shame the nation.

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There's an English news programme on on saturday mornings that is presented by two Japanese. It's a terrible show presented with really stunted English and news features that are exceedingly boring, such as the new development of some mediocre technology by Japanese researchers, or the chaning colour of leaves in Kyoto.

I'm not sure if this programme is by NHK, but I can imagine that this service will be very similar.

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This sounds like propaganda news channel to me like.

If it are an internation channel, then why concentrate on Japan so much.

Strewth, it will be pure LDP propaganda , mark my words.

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Strewth!! God help us if they use the current English newscasters on NHK. There level of English is so bad that you have to decipher it like a code.

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does it mean that we cud watch it without a cable connection in Japan??

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JT readers and NHK watchers will be different people for sure and JT will draw better business.

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Japan's english speakers from japan in JT and japan's foreign friends will get more influence clout on global english influence via NHK english global broadcast.

NHK should hire some of our JT readers as anchorman or anchorwoman or news reserchers to improve NHK.

High talk japan style will be good. NHK need not concentrate on LDP issues but be better than Sky-Aljazeera-CNN-BBC and many others. NHK will become better via more exposures on the field with english channel.

JT readers can a good resource for resource for subject/topic matter, on NHK documentaries or on other such like NHK programs.

NHK english, may be of help to get more people from world nations on JT.

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I think it's because, like the French and others, they are jealous of the fact that English is the de facto global news language, courtesy of the BBC, CNN, Reuters and AP, etc....

At least in English, they can force Japanese propaganda down our throats and have a chance that a global audience may understand it.

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Whatever they do is it likely be any less propaganda than Fox, Aljazeera, the BBC & CNN? A totally odd perspective might just be “interesting”.

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Whatever they do is it likely be any less propaganda than Fox, Aljazeera, the BBC & CNN?

'cos BBC World Service and Fox News are comparable like that....

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'cos BBC World Service and Fox News are comparable like that....

Of course they are, both have thier leanings and bais, their level of bais I suppose though is relative to the reader/viewer. I'm surprised Japan has already launched NHK as an international broadcasting service. I am going guess there is going to a lot of ridiculous Anti-North Korea propaganda and plently of sumo.

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Superb. This is going to be hilarious.

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Of course they are, both have thier leanings and bais, their level of bais I suppose though is relative to the reader/viewer.

Sorry, I just can't take this seriously. You honestly place Fox News and BBC World on a par? And their level of bias is based on interpretation rather than content?!?!? Behave La!

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You honestly place Fox News and BBC World on a par?

Fox News is very up front about it and BBC is more calculated about it but both are extremely biased, as are most big media outlets, it is sad reality of journalism today. More to the point, yes I honestly take just as big of a grain of salt when watching BBC as I do with Fox news.

And their level of bias is based on interpretation rather than content.

I should have said their level of "precieved bais" is directly relative to what reader/viewer wants to hear. As well since the content from Fox News and BBC have both be proven to be less than 100% accurate, it does become a question of which you believe more.

Moderator: Back on topic please. The subject is NHK.

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I think most of the English speaking ex-pats (& doubtless a few none-English, English speakers) have looked for news channels we can feel comfortable watching while at the same time have some faith in. Such searches through global news networks have a tendency to leave me feeling empty. Is there no news outlets that can be watched with confidence? For me the answer is no. And although the BBC seems to have this reputation of being good, fair, honest, impartial & whatever I really don’t find it to be any of those things, maybe it’s just better at hiding it’s leanings.

NHK’s new channel might just be what we all need, something so obvious we don’t really need to think beyond what is being said & shown. If they avoid doing things the way BBC world does it might just be enough to put some pressure on Japan. And that can’t be a bad thing. BBC world is only about the world & next to nothing about Britain, which I do still have a little interest in. As for NHK, I’m not sure I am going to be too pleased if they go with the Sumo. I hate Sumo with a passion.

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NHK World has political, not journalistic, objectives. It's not comparable with CNN, BBC, etc., whose stations use correspondents and editors from many different countries. NHK World will be a Japan-centric operation.

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So, it's gonna be a political news program, huh? I don't expect it to be the one that could be comparable with PBS or C-SPAN. It could be a JP version of Fox News at best, since NHK still retains its media image of former headquarters serving as the imperial JP government's intelligent sources during WWII.

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According to this geek, "the most important thing is fair, balanced news" well, we dont get that on NHK at the minute, do we? NHK is just a propaganda machine for the LDP. Always was, always will be, until it is disbanded. And what`s with the zany looking cartoon character? Why do japanese universities, public corporations, banks and businesses choose these childish symbols to try to sell their products? Are they aiming this at children? No, of course - this is Japan.

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On the other hand, we could all wait and see - watch it for a month AND THEN pass judgement.

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Blasphemy, I say!

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I can't wait until they report on the rise in "foreign crime" in Japan and criticize other countries for interfering with their whale hunts. That will go down like a sumo slipping on a banana peal.

I think if they use it to constantly advertise new and exciting cutting edge Japanese technology product launches it will be a stellar success.

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On the other hand, we could all wait and see - watch it for a month AND THEN pass judgement.

That's anathema to the JT hoi polloi. Being judgemental and throwing up ad hominems in advance (revealings biases in the process) is soooo much easier, as per the post just before mine.

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But I will agree that getting all your news about Japan from NHK is a bad idea, as is getting all your news about Japan from JT.

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UnagiDon, I can't agree with you more.

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