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Ruling finalized ordering cell phone TV owners to pay public NHK subscription fee

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Stupid court, stupid judge, stupid ruling.

31 ( +37 / -6 )

Yep, try. As usual there is a fat chance saying no has a penality. I really object to having to pay for crap I don't watch.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

This is ridiculous. Consumers seem to have little to no protection against these predatory acts by companies in Japan.

Law makers have already agreed that cell phones costs are already over the top here. This will only make it more expensive.

Furthermore, I am curious as how they will stretch the definition of a “cellphone with TV functions.” Soon they will extend this to laptops and personal computers as well as people that have such devices in their car.

25 ( +31 / -6 )

The Japanese Broadcast Law obliges anyone who has a TV signal receiver to sign a contract with Japan Broadcasting Corp (NHK).

This is a law that needs to be repealed. It is this law that gives rise to rulings like this.

Truthfully, it is a relic of the 20th century.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Good luck on NHK in trying to get anyone in my family or myself to disclose what type of smart phones or cell phones we own and whether or not we can watch TV or not.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

It's ワンセグ携帯 and only Japanese few brands who have this capability, just wait until those collector misleading people with that court ruling by saying since you have Phone you need to pay NHK.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

These ba****ds have been harassing me for months! My phone requires an antenna to be attached to receive any TV signals, which I don't have. I don't even have any apps to watch TV. But I bet the smug collector will try and use this ruling against me.

This ruling is absolutely ridiculous and I hope somehow it gets nullified!

NHK are scum!

21 ( +26 / -5 )

My mother is 97 years old and suffer slight dementia. She is in a facility where those old folks live. The building is new and has a terminal to connect to regular NHK broadcasting as well as BS. They often call her asking to pay 4000 yen every two months. She has a TV set in her room and watch regular broadcasting occasionally but not BS broadcasting. As people gets older, they lose interest what are happening in the world. She is not interested in to watch BS broadcasting. They are intimidating her saying she has to pay since she has TV set and has a terminal to watch BS.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

What is NHK like these days? I haven’t watched it in over 10 years. Still rightwing nonsense?

I’ve got an iphone. I don’t watch ( can’t watch?) TV on that. Bad for the eyes.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Had the nhk guy ring my door at 8pm on Sunday night and woke up my 3 year old. Opened the door in my tiny whites and tattoo s a couple of harsh words and a countdown from ten and his bullying little butt was gone. 8pm is just not cricket!!!! Don't even have a TV.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

You would expect the high court to be intelligent enough to be impartial and side with citizens, sadly the opposite. Truth be told justice would be NHK pays me to accidentally see the crap that's broadcast. I get that food can be nice, that it's somehow funny to see adults slap each other on the head! Do I have to pay for it?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I have an iphone too so no worries. For those with other phones, are you able to choose one without a TV function? Or can it be disabled?

I know the judges, our conservative government and its mouthpiece, NHK, all want their cut of people's hard earned money, not to mention the benefits to be reaped when the entire populace consumes your statist talking points. But shouldn't someone be contemplating ideas like using a portion of our enormous, ever-growing tax dollars to fund Pravda-Nihon.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

It's ワンセグ携帯 and only Japanese few brands who have this capability, just wait until those collector misleading people with that court ruling by saying since you have Phone you need to pay NHK.

And there are people who are going to be sheeples and pay the fee out of fear and ignorance!

My father-in-law, who passed away quite a few years ago, set up paying NHK through monthly withdraws from his bank account, my wife continued the service, and while we watch sumo and the news on occasion, we fortunately do not get the NHK people knocking at our door.

It's a small price to pay for peace of mind!

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Yeah, I'm not paying. Will they try to broaden those powers to include all smart devices if NHK offers some kind of free streaming service?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Yubaru, we do the same, but what really pisses me off, is that a few years ago, when NHK had their own big scandal about wasting money on golf outings and other things, I told my wife to stop paying. After a while she resumed, but every month we get a threatening letter from them that we have to pay for the months we stopped paying, with interest. I am ready to stop paying again the cheap bastards!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

What’s next, car navigation systems?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

to ensure fairness

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is blatant extortion! This should be set up as a 'pay per view' service like Netflix or similar. It should not be set up as a 'pay if you can view' service. It would be quite simple for them to do this, but they won't because too many people who do not watch NHK are already paying for it.

I have an iPhone and a TV that is only connected to my computer. However, I have an Android based NAVI in my car. I'm sure these petty scalpers would want me to pay as well. I had one of these scalpers tell me I had to pay because I watched DVDs. I just laughed at him and closed the door. After nearly two decades I have never and will never pay this extortion.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

To be honest, I can't see these types of phones with tuners being around for much longer, which will render this whole case redundant.

They first started selling one seg phones in about 2005-2006 when everything was Terresterial, but since then there have been a vast number of streaming services start up in Japan offering the same of similar content. You no longer need a special 'galapagos' Japanese phone with a tuner to access these services as it is all done with 4G. Likewise phones from foreign makers (eg Samsung, Apple, Huawei etc) have become more popular and just don't have tuners.

Of note is that NHK is looking at offering a streaming service for all it's programming in 2019. No tuner required, but arguably they will need to implement some kind of login/subscription process for this service.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The late great Bill Hick put it well. You have the right to do what we tell you!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

yep, SERIOUSLY messed up, this whole nhk paying system is stone age in & of itself, now chasing people with mobile phones, this is theatre of the absurd!  EXCEPT in Japan where absurd can be ""normal""

7 ( +10 / -3 )

There are no penalties if you play but don’t pay!

On my iPhone can watch NHK World which is good for the news and culture programs. Can also listen to NHK Radio FM/R1/R2. My wife uses that for learning the English language learning programs for herself and her students.

Can also watch NHK TV via the Hikari TV app but mostly would need a subscription but can watch one channel free.

Don’t have an actual TV just paid for Hikari mostly used for watching BBC World.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I only use apple products and I don't allow any J TV ESPECIALLY NHK in my home. When My kid wants to watch something he watches youtube or Netflix on the ipad so that he can learn english. For Japanese stuff he watches Shimajiro DVDs and that's it.

NHK are scum!

100% true. AS ARE the judges who rule in their favor.

What’s next, car navigation systems?

That's already in place. My friend was asked about that. So yeah, apparently they do claim that.

Disillusioned

This is blatant extortion! This should be set up as a 'pay per view' service like Netflix or similar. It should not be set up as a 'pay if you can view' service. It would be quite simple for them to do this, but they won't because too many people who do not watch NHK are already paying for it.

THIS!!!! Excellent post mate! SPOT ON!!

To be honest, I can't see these types of phones with tuners being around for much longer, which will render this whole case redundant.

Agree. BUT...This is japan. Redundancy is something that goes WAY above their heads.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Ahhahahahahahahahaaa. Good luck with that. BTW, my cell phone is unable to receive TV signals unless I plug the antenna wire (which I don't possess) into the jack . So don't waste your time trying to collect from me

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Daylight robbery. Nightime robbery.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Extortion, made "legal" by the corporate passing of fat brown envelopes.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Had the nhk guy ring my door at 8pm on Sunday night and woke up my 3 year old. Opened the door in my tiny whites and tattoo s a couple of harsh words and a countdown from ten and his bullying little butt was gone. 8pm is just not cricket!!!! Don't even have a TV.

Ohhh we have a tough guy here. Mind you the collectors are not the biggest problem, it's the system. They are just doing what they are told. The best way is to have a door camera and not open it for anyone that doesn't look like the delivery guy. EIther way, something needs to be done about NHK, this dictatorship can not be allowed.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

If it can be forced, why sign contract? Contracts imply there is a choice (take it, leave it, or negotiate).

6 ( +6 / -0 )

SchopenhauerToday 07:25 am JST

My mother is 97 years old and suffer slight dementia. She is in a facility where those old folks live. The building is new and has a terminal to connect to regular NHK broadcasting as well as BS. They often call her asking to pay 4000 yen every two months. She has a TV set in her room and watch regular broadcasting occasionally but not BS broadcasting. As people gets older, they lose interest what are happening in the world. She is not interested in to watch BS broadcasting. They are intimidating her saying she has to pay since she has TV set and has a terminal to watch BS.

Sorry to hear that. That's just insane.

Geez- how mean spirited and bloody-minded can a bureaucracy get.

As another noted. NHK fees were set up in a different era, with different technologies, different interests and different forms of entertainment.

NHK is holding onto it's "Golden Goose" of the past, unable to move with the times, as is the govt on this.

And if NHK was even just a shadow of like Public Broadcasters such as England's BBC or Australias ABC, then there would be room to negotiate - but it is not. Those broadcasters represent the views of society and tackle many issues in depth, regardless of political persuasions. NHK essentially is a toadie for Govt Inc., too afraid or unwilling to directly challenge or be confrontational when required. And Abe apponting his mates to run the show - well that's just smacks of in bed cronyism.

And as in Schopenhauer's mothers case, they have no understanding of "we the people". A bullying crock Co.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Next what..people with EYES have to pay? And Blind has to pay as they can hear NHK?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

How can I be required to sign a contract contracts are by their nature consensual if you are forced to sign a contract against your will or under duress the contract is invalid

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Sensei258:

Exactly. Any lawyer worth his salt knows that. Does Japan not have any real lawyers?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I think that if they want people to pay for NHK they should make them sign the contract when they buy any device capable of receiving a broadcasting signal. I refuse to pay based on this principle alone. My purpose of owning a tv is not to watch shi**y slapstick comedy, J dramas or people eating grotesque ammounts of food. It's to play the occasional video game, the use of YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. So they can cut the connection to my apartment because it is of no use to me.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

NHK does provide a very valuable service during major disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Internet provides service way and above NHK. I found out that Fuckashima exploded online weeks almost months before NHK admitted it. NHK actually were reporting that that it was just a gas build up. No concern, no worry. The fact they downplayed a nuclear meltdown for so long would lean me towards saying NO to paying them (NHK) anything but a bag of fecies.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Cricky - I remember that as well. If memory serves, NHK were reporting a release of steam for days after the BBC reported a meltdown.

This is a disgrace. Predictable, but a disgrace nonetheless.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Keeps getting ridiculous.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

By the way, why don't we add NHK tax on anyone entering Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Furthermore, I am curious as how they will stretch the definition of a “cellphone with TV functions.” Soon they will extend this to laptops and personal computers as well as people that have such devices in their car.

They tried to pull the "you have a laptop so..." BS on me. I showed him the exit. Haven't seen them since, but will not even get as far as greetings if they come back.

I refuse to watch JTV. It's an insult to a functioning brain.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I am ready to stop paying again the cheap bastards!

MarkX, be careful. If you have a contract with them, they can force you to pay. If you want to stop paying, just "inform" them that you no longer have a TV (or other receiving device).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NHK does provide a very valuable service during major disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis.

Shouldn't that be free?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I would be glad to pay for NHK if they ditch all their advertisers.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I would happily pay to receive NHK and other Japanese TV channels on my TV and phone if they showed anything worth watching, but they just don't. If I paid a single month's subscription fee and got a whole year of content for it I would still feel ripped off.

finally richToday  11:23 am JST

I would be glad to pay for NHK if they ditch all their advertisers.

I didn't think NHK had any advertising...?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Almost every phone these days fits the description of a “cellphone with TV functions.”

Almost all androids and iPhones have TV functions. You only need to download the app to actually view the programs. My TV has never once been hooked up to an antenna and it’s a smart TV so I only use it to view services on Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services. How can they expect me to pay for services that I don’t use nor wish to use?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And Blind has to pay as they can hear NHK?

You're joking, but NHK actually has a lower rate for blind people who have televisions but can only hear the content. I imagine they'll pull this trick for people who have cell phones but don't have good enough eyesight to read those tiny screens.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

We pay the terrestrial portion only, even though we get both terrestrial and BS. (Because it's via fiber, there is no dish on the roof.) I actually don't mind, as I think the terrestrial-only fee is fair for both, as I prefer NHK to any of the commercial channels. Sumo, baseball, documentaries, cooking, travel, etc are generally of high quality and interesting to me. (I wouldn't want to pay the terrestrial and BS fee, though.)

I think a lot of people who complain about the low quality of JP TV in the comments section of these NHK fee articles are confusing standard JP commercial channels with NHK, which is generally of much higher quality than the endless comedians-shouting-and-hitting-each-other-on-the-head types of panel shows on the commercial channels. (Unfortunately, that crap is what my wife likes, so she rarely watches NHK.)

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I would be glad to pay for NHK if they ditch all their advertisers.

NHK doesn't have any commercials. It's comments like the above that supports my belief that many people here confuse NHK with the standard commercial channels.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

It would appea that the high court are like the minister of cyber security they both have absolutely no idea it's 2019. So cute for them it's 1920s at best.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The odd thing about all of this is that every TV and HDD Recorder that I've owned or used in Japan, other than the one in my car, has a smartcard with a unique ID.

Couldn't NHK just lock out reception of their channels to all devices whose cards aren't registered to a paying account? Seems like a simple solution, and would remove the overhead of those annoying collectors.

Or, is the card only for the BS/CS part of the device?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yubaru: "Good luck on NHK in trying to get anyone in my family or myself to disclose what type of smart phones or cell phones we own and whether or not we can watch TV or not."

The sad fact is that NHK has flat out said it will demand access to MyNumber information to check if NHK fees are being deducted from bank accounts, and will use the information to file lawsuits against those who do not but have fees taking out of accounts to pay cellular phone bills. That is how they will know if you and your family are paying, since I have zero doubt the government will do what NHK wants (this ruling is further evidence that they will). This scheme of theirs came to late when the MyNumber system, which everyone was against but the government said they will "make the public understand later" (again), and then NHK head Momii made no qualms about saying NHK has the right to the private information.

What I'd like to know is what "TV receiver" is defined as. I'm guessing it's just a vague term so that they can put ALL phones in the mix.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

How will they even enforce such a silly ruling! Does merely having a phone with ワンセグ functionality be enough to get chased by NHK collection fee vandals. I have an old Samsung Note that I haven't used in years at home, even though I don't use it will they still insist people to pay up?

I already don't pay the fee even though I have a TV which I use to watch Netflix and other streaming services I want to pay for and use.

NHK needs to encrypt their broadcasts, that way people who actually want to watch it will pay to access it, but I guess they'll simply lose too much money and it is easier to scare vulnerable to pay up.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Thontaddeo- there is discounted blind rate for those who can only hear!!!!!!!

Tell me that's not true, because if it is, that's way below the belt.

I mean how many people would fit that category? And yet they want to scrounge every last ¥, because they can with the blessing of Govt Inc.

Low lifes.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This should be the final nail in the coffin for the remaining Japanese smart phone makers who include "one seg" features on their phones. Who would buy such a thing when it opens them up to an NHK shake down?

Despite the ruling, there is still no way to force someone to enter into a contract against their will.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Where as I agree with 95% of comments above - if this led to prosecution like it most certainly does in the UK (and IS enforced) would you all be so anti-paying?

Too clarify, it is NO different from the UK where the fee goes to fund the BBC only, none of the (many) commercial channels.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My general policy is that unless I’m expecting someone or something, I don’t answer the door. It’s never a neighbor stopping by unannounced, it’s always someone selling something or NHK. If it is something important, they will leave a note.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@doug. I live in the Inaka and always have my door open. Often local people bring me vegetables. I don’t want to be paranoid over a tv station I don’t watch.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

when I got my cable TV service, NHK payment was included (added) to the monthly fee, if I said no to NHK, I'd not have been able to get the cable service.

NHK is trying to "tie-up" with other services so that people have very little choice if they want those OTHER services : (

3 ( +3 / -0 )

theResidentToday  12:50 pm JST

Where as I agree with 95% of comments above - if this led to prosecution like it most certainly does in the UK (and IS enforced) would you all be so anti-paying?

Yes, and I would completely refrain from watching Japanese TV just like I do now. I would also check if my phone had a TV function and inquire about disabling it. Buying a TV set is one thing, as it is done with the express intent to watch TV while accepting that there may be fees for the content, buying a phone intending only to use it for calls, emails and web browsing and getting charged for having an option to watch TV that I do not want and did not ask for is quite another.

Too clarify, it is NO different from the UK where the fee goes to fund the BBC only, none of the (many) commercial channels.

It is a bit different. BBC online content is only available to Licence Fee payers. I do not think NHK will have any such restrictions on who they can extort cash from.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What’s next, car navigation systems?

They've already tried this with me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The final nail in the coffin of contract law in Japan. No foreign entity should enter into a contract with a Japanese partner unless the paperwork is filed overseas and theparner agrees it is legally binding in both jurisdictions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Simon Foston:

You are totally incorrect. BBC online content is available to anybody as long as they are pinging a UK IP address. Inside or outside the UK.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What about us Jonny foreigners ? is a NHK rep going to check our mobile phones when were in the airport? are NHK going to have some one walk around asking people if they could check the mobiles? is there going to be any discretion for Holliday maker that are just visiting Japan? although the courts have made a ruling, how devil is it going to be enforced?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the resident -

Actually it is very different. Comparing the BBC to NHK is Chalk & Cheese.

The BBC's own license fee blurb -

"...The licence fee allows the BBC's UK services to remain free of advertisements and independent of shareholder and political interest..."

Abe has appointed his own mates as NHK heads or board executives. They not only toe the line, but have publicly declared support for Abe and his ways.

Take Momii who was appointed as Chairman directly by Abe who is on record as saying stuff like -

" the issue of comfort women is morally no worse than the red light district of Amsterdam" or

" We cannot say left when the govt says right".

No, NHK is in a world of it's own when it comes to public broadcasters in leading democracies - and it isn't good.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

On the day of the 3/11 East Japan Earthquake, which happened about 2:49pm, the NHK helicopters were in the air from Sendai Airport before 3pm and shoed and warned people tp get away from the coming tsunamis. By the time of the tsunami hitting Sendai Airport was no longer useable. Those live broadcasts not helped people to survive but also showed the whole country just how bad the disaster was.

NHK would like to provide programs on demand and there is a bill before the Diet but it is opposed by all the commercial channels.

The BBC iPlayer is now only available to users based in the UK who register with an address which the BBC is using to check if a license exists for that address.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Warning to all foreigners: Pretending not to speak Japanese does not fool these NHK fee collectors anymore. They will come back the next day with a pamphlet in your language asking you to sign a contract.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Telling the collector I have an iPhone worked to convince the collector I did not have a TV receiver in my phone.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

theResidentToday  03:59 pm JST

@Simon Foston:

You are totally incorrect. BBC online content is available to anybody as long as they are pinging a UK IP address. Inside or outside the UK.

So this information from the BBC website is no longer correct?

You need to be covered by a TV Licence to:

watch or record live TV programmes on any channel 

download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/corporate2/insidethebbc/whoweare/licencefee/

I thought they had some means of restricting access to License Fee payers, e.g. a login screen with username and password. But it doesn't change my opinion. I wouldn't watch BBC content online without getting a TV License, partly because of the risk of getting caught and fined £1000. That's definitely not the same as what happens in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Also, I doubt if the BBC would send collectors round telling people that they have to get a TV Licence if they have any device that could be used to watch BBC programmes. I imagine they don't take any action unless they actually catch someone watching without paying. Is that correct?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I doubt if the BBC would send collectors round telling people that they have to get a TV Licence if they have any device that could be used to watch BBC programmes. I imagine they don't take any action unless they actually catch someone watching without paying.

The BBC certainly do go after license dodgers (about 3,500 a week); non-payers are taken to court and the fines are pretty hefty. The dodger-chasing is outsourced to a company called Capita.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/24/in-court-non-payment-tv-licence-television-desperate-cases

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The dodger-chasing is outsourced to a company called Capita.

Or as (some) staff like to call them; Crapita.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Warning to all foreigners: Pretending not to speak Japanese does not fool these NHK fee collectors anymore. They will come back the next day with a pamphlet in your language asking you to sign a contract.

True...BUT only fool will sign contract fully written in Japanese. How many foreigners can read 100% of kanji written in that contract? Pamphlet is in my language (second language) but the contract is in Japanese and I never sign papers I don't know 100% what that is for (even in this case I know exactly what's going on, but still)...so do you want my sign? then bring contract in English...in this particular case "koko wa nihon" doesn't work with me...not fan of brainwashing...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Zichi,

I also remember 3/11 and NHK were complicit in reporting the government's 'there have been no meltdowns' announcement as well.

I also remember watching NHK news when Dai Ichi went up in steam and I distinctly remember the NHK English announcer saying......"The staff have moved away."

I was thinking....where to Hawaii?

They meant to say another nearby facility.I found NHK to be utterly useless and when Abe's friend Momii came in as president they became nothing but a mouthpiece of the LDP!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Something missing from he article is, the scalpersvwhoncine to your door are not directly employed by NHK. They work for a collection agency and are paid a commission for the amount of subscription fees they collect. This is why they are such persistent butt-holes! I have had the actually threaten me. I also had one idiot come to my door at 9:20pm on a Sunday night. I abused the hell out if him and slammed the door in his face. Making people pay for something they do not use or need is straight up extortion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Spitfire 

Zichi,

I also remember 3/11 and NHK were complicit in reporting the government's 'there have been no meltdowns' announcement as well.

On the day of the earthquake and tsunami, there wasn't a nuclear meltdown or the hydrogen explosions in the reactors. There were three major disasters unfolding and even today you can still find NHK coverage from the time. I actually watched some today. NHK had good coverage of the earthquake and the tsunami and less so on the nuclear disaster.

As for the unfolding disaster happening in the nuclear power plant, nobody outside of the plant had any idea of what was actually happening so all of the media outlets, domestic and foreign had no insider information and could only obtain info from the government which also wasn't 100% knowing about what was happening.

NHK did show the explosions. The government lied to everyone and went on the backstep. TEPCO also lied.

I also accept Americans have no TV license and so usually complain about that. I never watch TV when visiting America purely because of the amount of commercials during a single episode. The American media coverage of disasters like Katrina were not that accurate including the rapes which were happening in the stadium.

No one is forced to watch NHK or buy a TV license. I haven't had one in 25 years. There are no penalties if you don't have one. Don't watch and don't pay.

The parts of NHK we do us, mostly the English learning programs and some programs on NHK World are very good. We use the language programs to teach our students which we have used for more than 20 years. Those programs are also provided with monthly printed booklets which we usually buy about three or four. The NHK services are very wide ranging covering TV and radio, and now also the internet.

In addition for the news, I usually read all of the major publications to try and get a balanced idea.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

browny1 Make no mistake, the BBC, (or as we Scots like to call it, the EBC), is the propaganda arm of the Wastemonster government and disseminates BS to mislead the masses in just the same way as state broadcasters around the globe. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the EBC are far worse because people have a misguided belief that they are impartial and unbiased. The Brits are beginning to see behind the curtain to the wee shoits pulling the levers and calling the shots, (especially in Scotland where the anti Scots propaganda has just become ridiculous).

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I run a website with a 3000 yen a month fee. I will collect from anyone that has an internet connection or mobile phone because they might visit my website.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Alistair - I guess no media entity can claim undying neutrality and fairness, whether that be BBC, Fox, or NHK.

And I sympathize with your not being able to counter the shots of the bbc calls . Time for for a Roy Boy revolution - go for it.

Zilch - of course NHK delivers good public advice in times of disasters. It is compelled by law to do so. It is there to serve the public. I think the point others were making was when there was an extreme possibility of a meltdown occuring at Fukushima days after, NHK was obviously instructed to NOT use that word. In fact they didn't use it for yonks. And I recall watching live the first hydrogen explosion (which untimely released a little mushroom shaped cloud) and I'll never forget the announcers words - "there was some shaking and some dust was released". Like - millions of us, right in front of our eyes on screen saw a Mother of a Big Explosion. But that is only one of any multitude of cases where NHK just sits on the fence for fear of attracting the wrath of the Boyz Inc.

Close friend worked 4 years in Okinawa NHK as newsreader, then my prefecture for 4 years and has been in Kanto for 5 years now. Had many interesting chats with him. NHK is the true hierachial pyramid of power. Nothing can go up, all comes down. He said recommendations from staff were constantly ignored. Staff were told that if they didn't like the situation there are any number knocking on the door - so toe the line.

NHK has become a bloated behemoth trying to exercise the power it had 40 years ago, failing to understand it's the 21st C and not everyone is interested in it's offerings anymore. But it refuses to give up it's control, esp so because the govt uses it blatantly as it's smiley face.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

NHK is one of the worst things about living in Japan.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Alistair MortonToday  09:08 pm JST

browny1 Make no mistake, the BBC, (or as we Scots like to call it, the EBC), 

I'm Scottish, I'm from an SNP safe seat and I was home at the time of the Independence Referendum. I've never heard it called the EBC. Well, at least they can get by with seven or eight regional broadcasting services as opposed to forty seven and don't go on for ringing on doorbells to hassle people into paying the License Fee.

cleoToday  07:19 pm JST

"I doubt if the BBC would send collectors round telling people that they have to get a TV Licence if they have any device that could be used to watch BBC programmes. I imagine they don't take any action unless they actually catch someone watching without paying."

The BBC certainly do go after license dodgers (about 3,500 a week); non-payers are taken to court and the fines are pretty hefty. The dodger-chasing is outsourced to a company called Capita.

Indeed so, but it's after the fact and I gather the dodger-chasing efforts cost somewhat less than NHK's door-to-door antics.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What is NHK like these days? I haven’t watched it in over 10 years. Still rightwing nonsense?

i can't stand Japanese TV, but from the snippets i have seen NHK is even more right wing and nationalist compared to a few years back.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

fishyMar. 14 01:57 pm JST

when I got my cable TV service, NHK payment was included (added) to the monthly fee, if I said no to NHK, I'd not have been able to get the cable service.

Thanks for the tip! I'm going to have to check with my TV carrier, EONet, to see if the fee is included. I may have been paying double all this time!!!

If so, I wonder if I can claim a refund from NHK?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

GyGeneMar. 14 11:25 pm JST

NHK is one of the worst things about living in Japan.

Really? I find the racism, corruption, endless rules and regulations, unnecessary complexity of almost everything, population density, traffic, bullying, absence of work/life balance, lack of street names, narrow roads, and lack of parking to all be more annoying than NHK fees.

But, everybody has their priorities, I suppose.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

TIJ: Legally aprroved corruption.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Simon Foston:

Your comments do not merit a response. If you are really Scottish then you would know that they do come after you and they DO prosecute.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

theResidentToday  08:41 am JST

@Simon Foston:

Your comments do not merit a response. If you are really Scottish then you would know that they do come after you and they DO prosecute.

Which I do actually know and acknowledged, hence:

cleoToday  07:19 pm JST

"The BBC certainly do go after license dodgers (about 3,500 a week); non-payers are taken to court and the fines are pretty hefty. The dodger-chasing is outsourced to a company called Capita."

Indeed so, but it's after the fact and I gather the dodger-chasing efforts cost somewhat less than NHK's door-to-door antics.

Was my use of the expression "indeed so" in any way misleading or ambiguous?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Next time someone in your apartment building (or neighborhood) moves out, peel the NHK sticker off of their mailbox and put in on yours. There's usually enough of a turn over to get an annual update and it keeps the collectors from knocking on your door!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So what are they saying? If there are five people living in the same house, which has a television will they need an additional licence if their phone can receive NHK? Will the licence pusher ask how many people live in the house and how many have phones?

However, I think the result of this ruling will be that phone manufacturers will remove the TV function from new models.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

gaijintravellerToday  09:57 am JST

“So what are they saying? If there are five people living in the same house, which has a television will they need an additional licence if their phone can receive NHK?”

No, because NHK fees are not collected per person, but rather per household. (There are also some discounts if members of the household are temporarily living elsewhere, such as while attending university or on a job transfer assignment).

The only people who would be affected by this ruling are those that had a one seg phone but no TV and thought they should be exempt from paying becayse they had no TV.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I meant to say NHK fees are collected per household, not per number of people nor number of devices.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

NHK does provide a very valuable service during major disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis.

In this day and age, where EVERY.SINGLE.CHANNEL beats every "significant" news story - including live and up-to-date info about natural disasters - to death for the entire day, what does NHK provide that any other channel doesn't?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does this apply to those using tablets, phones, computers etc. using Netflix or other streaming services? If so, this is a poor ruling. Otherwise, if you're able to view NHK, I think you should pay the fee.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

SneezyToday  03:57 pm JST

Does this apply to those using tablets, phones, computers etc. using Netflix or other streaming services? If so, this is a poor ruling. Otherwise, if you're able to view NHK, I think you should pay the fee.

If NHK put some kind of lock on their online content, e.g. restricting it to subscription fee payers who enter a username and password, I'd be completely fine with it. I don't think NHK are happy to collect revenue just from the people who actually watch their programmes though, and the government and courts will probably allow them to screw just about anyone they like out of money as long as they remain a loyal establishment mouthpiece. I think there might be more restrictions imposed if NHK weren't run by Abe stooges.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I will NEVER NEVER pay.

Just DONT open the door when a random guy knocks.

Orelse you will have to pay by law

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yet Another Tax.

NHK really sucks big time at everything. Their disaster notification system is infactual for non-Japanese too. So I see no benefits for paying their license fee.

Now with this ruling, if your device can receive NHK broadcasts then you have to pay... there's a lot of information missing here... is it specifically targeting the 1-Seg technology, or does it relate to any device capable of receiving and displaying NHK Broadcasts - the latter would mean all Smartphones and Computers, etc.

Car owners will be next, everyone with a SatNav that doubles as a TV will be subjected to this fee.

Perhaps if the road tax was increased for all car owners on the assumption that each had a SatNav capable of receiving NHK broadcasts, then NHK wouldnt need to go door to door, as nearly all car owners will have homes to to do, with TV , and probably own a smart phone anyway. Would be a whole lot simpler to do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The NHK is an obligatory service that is protected by the constitution. And it cannot be dissolved as a public entity.

A constitutional amendment is needed to close the NHK. And here's the real problem. No left-wing political party wants to do that. And that's where the systematic abuse of the NHK comes from.

A constitutional amendment to close the NHK does not affect anything in pacifist terms. And I believe that the majority of the Japanese people would vote in favour of a national constitutional referendum. To shut down that broadcasting entity.

But as always the anti-amendment parties refused to make any kind of reform, hiding behind the fact that the peace constitution would be modified. Although the NHK article has nothing to do with article 9.

This is one of the consequences of maintaining a constitution drafted in 1947. That it is too obsolete for our days. A relic from the middle of the 20th century.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mmdkw, “then NHK wouldnt need to go door to door, as nearly all car owners will have homes to to do, “

Again, NHK fees are set by household, not by the number of devices.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What was that absurd fee we had to pay years ago to get a landline? I can't recall. Well, I never got my 40,000 - 60,000 yen back when landlines disappeared.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

mmwkdwMar. 16  10:29 pm JST

...then NHK wouldnt need to go door to door...

They don't really need to go door to door now. In Britain you buy a TV License on your own initiative and they have means of finding out who's watching TV without one. From what I have read it costs something like 6% of the BBC's operating budget, compared to the 12% or so that NHK pays out. I imagine though, that the fee-collecting operations are run by friends of politicians or Amakudari NHK people, so I doubt there will be any plans to improve the service.

dougthehead13Today  07:32 am JST

The NHK is an obligatory service that is protected by the constitution. And it cannot be dissolved as a public entity.

A constitutional amendment is needed to close the NHK

NHK doesn't need to be closed down. They just need to make changes to the relevant broadcasting laws so that the funding system is fair on viewers. NHK should also take steps to make sure that everyone who has a TV and pays the subscription fee feels that they are getting good value for their money. For instance, as viewers of every political inclination are expected to pay, there should be no pro-government bias.

okochatMar. 16  12:54 pm JST

I will NEVER NEVER pay.

Just DONT open the door when a random guy knocks.

Orelse you will have to pay by law

To be honest, if you do actually watch TV a fair amount I think you should pay for it. I think virtually everything on Japanese TV is absolutely terrible and I wouldn't even pay the fee to get legal access to other channels. However, neither do I have a TV that's set up to receive any transmissions from any network. So they have no legal grounds for asking me to pay anything.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Never updated my analogue TV. Wasn't worth the hassle since there is sweet FA to watch on TV here. No real investigative journalism or anything for mature-minded people.

And yet still I get visits. I've had one idiot start writing a contract before I could even open my mouth and say I didn't have a TV. I can imagine NHK setting up free streaming on the internet soon, and then use that as an excuse to force EVERYONE with internet connection and a computer to pay them the NHK fee.

And please do not compare NHK with BBC. The latter is not told what to do or show by the prime minister. And they make good quality programmes, many sold abroad. I dare say a lot of the better programmes on NHK actually come from UK and US.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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