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High court finds cell phone TV owners obliged to pay NHK fees

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When NHK comes to my door and I turn them down, each time I tell them they should scramble the signal and charge only what users watch.

They know nobody would watch their propaganda, which is why they don't do it.

I have lived here 25 years and never paid the fee. They come to my house every year.

28 ( +31 / -3 )

Just don’t sign the contract. Problem solved. There is no penalty for not signing. I told e “sales people” to go to the police box if they felt I was breaking a binding law. After a few times, they stopped coming.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

The whole concept of a special TV fee is insane. If the government feels public TV is so essential, simply pay for it out of the massive taxes they already collect from the people who actually work. They could save money by cutting the staff of goons who go around collecting, put an end to criminalizing anybody with a TV, phone or car navi, and make this whole thing a non-issue.

I pay plenty in taxes. If the parasites who live off them can't budget enough for their pet propaganda channel, that's their problem.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

each time I tell them they should scramble the signal and charge only what users watch.

Someone was buggering around my NHK signal for years. Instead of a national broadcaster, I got this crackpot channel led by a Nanking denier with load of bobble heads spouting right wing propaganda.

Has anyone else come across this problem? Does it just occur in the Tokyo area?

19 ( +21 / -2 )

If you have been here 25 years you should know by now just why NHK can not do what you are talking about

I do, its because nobody would watch their garbage programming

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Legally legally required to sign up? Signing up implies that you have a choice. In any case, as always, the law does not provide a penalty for not paying so why the hell would I?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Cell phone?...i communicate through smoke signals . Bugger off.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

My tooth has a filling that randomly picks up NHK broadcasting, guess I should pay for the unwanted inconvenience. What a stupid ruling, if they can't earn enough from advertising then shut down, I don't want to pay for something I don't use.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Being faced to pay for propaganda?

Being told that Japanese this and that is so ‘unique’ and ‘delicious’ etc etc.

I almost feel like I’m on a different planet!

The courts have forced viewers to pay fees for previous years in some judgements.

However, as phones are so numerous and users are so varied, it would take an inordinate amount of time to force millions of people to pay .

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I have this amazing piece of technology in my front door; it's called a window. Whenever somebody comes to my door, if they are not recognizable as a delivery person, someone I know, the police, or a utilities guy, I simply don't open my door. Problem solved.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I can watch NHK in some restaurants or a shop. Will that be next on the list of reasons why you must pay?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

This is only for Android phones. Just tell them you have an iPhone when they come to your door and they'll go away.

Collectors cannot enter your home and they are only allowed to pester you between 9am and 9pm. I had one joker show up at 9:15pm on a Sunday. I got his name and NHK ID and made a formal complaint about it. I got a letter of apology from NHK and no visits for two years.

The fees that NHK charge would be lucky to cover the costs of having so many collectors running around pestering people to pay extortion fees for a service they do not use.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

My wife figures that NHK is paying off the courts.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

My wife figures that NHK is paying off the courts.

I agree with your wives.

That's the second ruling in NHK's favor, it makes me sick to my stomach. How can you be forced to pay for something you DON'T want. People should have a choice.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

@Yubaru Stop beating around the bush and enlighten us all.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

This is really bad.

First off NHK is a totally useless institution which a vote should be held in order to disband it.... it's in bed with Abe and his ilk with under hand deals, etc.

Secondly the invasion of privacy over what type of Phone you own.. and whether it is capable of displaying any Japanese TV is now questionable.. So if someone streams NHK programs to an iPhone, does that make all iPhone users (Globally) liable to pay NHK fees ?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This is endemic of Japan as a whole -- expect people to pay for something because it exists, so you can get money, even if they never consume the product. With NHK it is above and beyond ridiculous. The programming mostly sucks to begin with; at least with the BBC you get good stuff. Second, they keep shifting the goal posts so that archaic definitions of who has to pay change with new technology.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

These came to my door last year:

”Do you have a TV?” - No.

”Do you have a phone?” -Yes.

”What kind?”

Pulls out iPhone

”Have a nice day...”

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I pay and paid arrears. Thanks to wife. She felt pressured when the NHK guys showed up when we moved to Tokyo from Osaka, and also admitted non-compliance in Osaka and had to pay arrears. Thanks again wife.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Does this ruling mean those with iPhones are exempt?

My coworker has recently swapped his TV for a large PC monitor - all TV he watches is through Amazon FireTV these days apparently.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"The Broadcast Law of Japan requires anyone who has TV receiving equipment to conclude a receiving contract with NHK. Viewers are not asked to pay to access specific programs, but to support NHK’s operations as a whole."

"The receiving fee system ensures NHK’s financial independence, which guarantees NHK’s editorial independence and impartiality."

(Comment: Apparently from the comments here many believe that is not the case)

"The duty of a public broadcaster is to deliver impartial, high-quality programs. Programs should never be influenced by the government or a private organization. A wide range of programs and a balanced programming should be also provided, with no influence imposed by ratings or the interests of a third party."

(Comment: Apparently from the comments here many believe that is not the case)

There is no fine or sanction for non-payment.

In the UK the situation is the same yet couched somewhat differently - it is the device that must have a licence regardless of the use and the Fee is payed to the Government not the the BBC:

"You need to be covered by a TV Licence (Costs £150 pa ) to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel

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

This applies to any provider you use and any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder."

There are significant fines and detector vans and compliance officers to enforce payments.

If you own a car in Japan or the UK or anywhere...it is necessary an annual tax regardless of amount of use or what you do with the car. It is the same thinking for TV receiving devices.

What needs to happen is that the fee is rolled into city taxes. No more wasting time and money on people banging on the doors. There should be no need for licences or contracts or any of that other money wasting nonsense and unpleasantness.

Now for the real nub of the matter - Yen 49,063,530 households in Japan - if they all pay the NHK Fee of a minimum of say Yen 15,490 (Wikipedia) that totals Yen 758,978,589,700...A lot of moolah indeed.

However that is not what is happening. NHK shows 689 billion yen from fees and 22.5 billion from other (unspecified) sources. A total Operating income of ~712 billion and and expenditure of 702 billion. After scandals at NHK non-payment reached epidemic proportions in 2006.

There is nothing to show that this corruption has ceased. As recently as 2016 there there was a massive embezzlement scandal involving $1.8 million in fraud. This involved only 2 people.

I am guessing that was the tip of the iceberg and much more continues to this day and is largely swept under the carpet and unknown to the public who must suspect that it continues.

In short, the Japanese public are expected to fund a corrupt and compromised organisation that is already over-funded at considerably lower than the collected licence fee. It is time to stop the rot.

Here is a suggestion to the Japanese Government and NHK. Ditch the contracts and fees. Bump up the city tax by Yen 10,000. Mr Abe pleas fund NHK out of national purse on the basis of an annual budget justified to the Lower House. Audit NHK annually to discover and eliminate corruption and makes sure they are now and remain squeaky clean with all expenditures properly authorised and accounted for.

Local Authorities get a much needed influx of funds to spend on infrastructure projects and we all comply with the law and everybody benefits.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

jiji XxToday 07:45 am JST

simple for me.... no TV... which not all NHK reps at my door have been eager to believe, but....

Simple at the moment, maybe. Soon they could be asking you about your phone.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

One thing should be simple, if you pay skapa- or wowow you can see a lot of movies, if you don't pay you can't see anything of them. NHK should be the same--Not a obligation to pay!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I own a website, all cell phones must have a contract with me because they have the ability to view my website.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Well, I can't watch TV on my phone, and that's what I'm going to tell them.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Yubaru - I have been here over 20 years. I am not being argumentative but you have made a similar statement twice, "I  am guessing you really don't know why and use this as an excuse to explain it away. If you did know, there would be no reason to have to "explain" it to them 25 years running!"

I confess - I have absolutely no reason why and if you would not mind could you explain further for those of us who do not know what you are talking about? It seems to be really relevant to this article

5 ( +7 / -2 )

NHK should just start airing commercials.... if their content is that good then it will pay for itself. Or would that upset the balance. Would that be just too much change to bear.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'll never pay a single yen to have LDP propaganda broadcast in my home by force.

I've never paid them and never will. There are a million excuses to use to make the collectors go away.

I am glad that I've never had to face off with a rude collector, but I've heard some crazy stories about collectors gone mad, trying to push in the door etc..

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Do I pay also. I am in Australia?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The people who go door to door bothering people are NOT NHK employees. They are independent contract bill collectors. There are a lot of NHK bill collector videos in Japanese on youtube. They cannot force their way into your home, put their foot etc, that is illegal, if they try, whip our your camera phone and start yelling "DOROBO" (burglar) as in one video.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

As far as I'm concerned when it comes to NHK is they can come call on me and request payment (and I'll gladly pay) IF they go through the entire country and get EVERY single non-compliant/paying Japanese citizen to do so FIRST. There are millions I'm sure.

Before that, don't go reaching into my pockets for my hard earned yen with your scandal ridden, money pilfering execs, right-wing propaganda machine who don't even want me in your country broadcast racket.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

simple for me.... no TV... which not all NHK reps at my door have been eager to believe, but....

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Anyone know how much they take in "fees"? Our vehicle has a TV receiver so I guess they can go after people that way as well.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Simon Foston

Soon they could be asking you about your phone.

They already did before (5 years ago for me).

Still, what can they do ? Ask to check your phone or enter your home ?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

stories about collectors gone mad, trying to push in the door etc

Really? You mean like trying to force entry into someone's home? I heard that collectors are absolutely not allowed to enter houses for fear of being accused of doing something where there are no witnesses. For that reason even if you say, "I don't have a TV, come in and you can see for yourself" they can only refuse.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Unfortunately I pay NHK as they constantly kept sending people to pester me to not only start paying, but also to pay for the past years when I stopped paying them after like 10 years. They back bill me twice a year by mail, and recently started calling me on my landline and leaving messages to pay up. When I pretended I didn't speak Japanese, they sent an English -speaking guy. They are notoriously persisitent and I never watch NHK except for weather reports. What about all cars with Navi systems, they all watch tv on them ? It's a federal racket just like shaken and highway tolls.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Monday's Tokyo High Court ruling that “the owner of a cell phone with a mobile television function is obliged to pay a subscription fee to Japan's public broadcaster NHK” makes sense if Japan's politicians plan on changing Japan's TV system yet a third time about 12 years from now.

2011: Digital television in Japan (ISDB-T), analog TV switched off. Everyone buys a new equipment.

2018: 4K/8K begins broadcasting (ISDB-S3). New equipment is needed to view TV programs except for basic terrestrial and current CS satellite and parts of BS satellite, if all goes according to government plans. But this is a maybe and could change.

2025- 2030 time frame based on the fact Japanese CATV equipment makers are introducing equipment for a third change. (70-962Mhz, et 1030-3224 MHz). The 1030-3224 space will be used for BS/CS right rotation polarization and BS/CS left rotation polarization. The 70-962Mhz will be used as a white space for streaming data such as TV programs and Internet usage, hence the intense interest in having a cell phone classified as a “TV receiver” All of the current 70-770Mhz space will be converted to 70-962Mhz CATV streaming services other than a very small portion for terrestrial 2K (for now) and FM radio.

So “Presiding Judge Toshimasa Fukami said that the legal wording is not necessarily the same as its plain Japanese interpretation and that the law covers cell phones” would seem to indicate the contract is subterfuge to hide the fact that the NHK subscription fee is not just paying for NHK programs, it is the transfer of wealth to private firms by NHK from the Japanese people and Japanese business to pay for new technology.

Since the above plan mirrors what the United States wants, it seems reasonable to ask this question: “Who really profits and which country?” A TV tax like the U.K. can be better scrutinized by the Japanese tax payer, a contract can't be which is why all the subterfuge by the courts.

Making the NHK contract a general TV tax makes it easier to collect payments, equal to all and lower the tax rate paid each year by each person. This money could go to a technology fund overseen by many groups, not just a few who want to control events. The people who want to watch NHK could pay using the B-CAS like all the other channels. As it stands now it appears to me that Japan is being hollowed out so that a select few can benefit.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think the law states that every household is required to have a TV license whether they have a TV or not

No, I've translated the law in the past. You have to have a device that is capable of receiving a TV signal. If you do not, then you don't have to pay.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

what's a cellphone TV?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Dan Lavery - The receiving fee system ensures NHK’s financial independence, which guarantees NHK’s editorial independence and impartiality."

Yes, that is the law, but being made to pay for a service you do not use is extortion. I do not, have not and never will watch Japanese TV and I'll be damned if I'm gonna be made to pay for something I DO NOT USE. It's the same as if I was made to pay a tariff on female sanitary napkins. I do not use them, so why should I be made to pay for them?

Japan is full of these scams! Anybody who has rented a house or a parking space is aware of these extortion fees that are thrown in on top. Renting a property is a great example. They make you pay key money (gift money), they put a commission fee on your rent and then, they charge you an extra month's rent when you renew your lease. However, they are already getting a commission on the property and, how can a lease renewal fee equal one month's rent when all rents are different? It's extortion!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

haha, so many foreigners have ended up paying the NHK fees because their goody-two-shoes J-spouses gave in.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

What I don't understand, is how this fee system is different from tax? You own a TV, and whether you watch it or not-you pay TV tax. they should make a notification in this regard at every electronics shop.

It would make sense if it was a very high-quality TV without any commercials so they would need the fees to keep in business. But half of their TV time IS commercials and stupid food programs, who waste time on that and pay for that?

Or wait-coz there is a completely outdated law favoring one national TV company. One should start a change campaign for that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How can this be enforced if a contract subscribing to the service has never been signed? Does contract law have absolutely no meaning in Japan? How can peole incapable of using basic logic have become judges?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You mean like trying to force entry into someone's home? I heard that collectors are absolutely not allowed to enter houses for fear of being accused of doing something where there are no witnesses.

I had one put his foot in the door to stop me from closing it one time, when I didn't want to listen to him. Not exactly forcing his way in, but still being somewhat forceful.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Mo - next time you're ready for a new TV, get rid of your current TV, call NHK and cancel. Then get a new TV and try not to forget to sign up again...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

We can go back and forth on this issue forever. It's really quite simple...

If you want to pay the fee, pay it.

If you don't want to pay the fee, don't.

Problem solved.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If you want to pay the fee, pay it.

If you don't want to pay the fee, don't.

That's why I don't pay it.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I confess - I have absolutely no reason why and if you would not mind could you explain further for those of us who do not know what you are talking about? It seems to be really relevant to this article

NHK is charged as the government broadcast service to provide news and information to the entire country. If they scrambled their signal, people would not be able to receive it in times of natural disasters or emergencies, which is one the the corner-stones of their charter, to provide information to everyone in Japan.

NHK is similar to the BBC, which also has broadcast fees as well.

The relevance is, that whether a person watches it or not, they are capable of receiving the signal, and THAT is what NHK is using as their argument.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

wtfjapanMar. 27 09:57 pm JST

Im perfectly fine with paying NHK fees as long as they make it mandatory and punishable with fines,

I would pay if I ever watched Japanese TV at home. However we have never connected our TV to any receiver and from what I occasionally see of the content at relatives' houses or in public spaces I see no reason to ever do so.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Disillusioned: Good post and very good information. Also I agree with your statement, "The fees that NHK charge would be lucky to cover the costs of having so many collectors running around pestering people to pay extortion fees for a service they do not use."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The same with the BBC in Britain. Before there were only TV's and radios but these days there are so many ways to watch and listen to NHK/BBC. Computers, tablets and smart phones. We don't have an actual TV but we do subscribe to the Hikari TV service via the internet but we don't actual watch or listen to NHK program which with Hiraki requires additional fees.

I think the law states that every household is required to have a TV license whether they have a TV or not but since there's no fine if they don't then even all Japanese don't have one. NHK and BBC are saying all devices capable of receiving TV should have a license.

I don't agree to pay for something I don't use but then part of my taxes help pay for local schools but we have no children.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Pay your taxes , there are a lot of self confessed criminals on board here again . believe me I pay more taxes than what the average Japanese earns in a year! I simply will never pay for something I dont use or doesn't have penalties applied for non compliance. I mean I wouldn't pay taxes if there were no penalties, but there are , so I do, simple really.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

i had been paying to NHK for 2 years even though i didn't watch tv . they came to my door and asked if i had tv . i said yes but we never watch . and he asked if i had internet . i replied yes , then he said you must pay it even if i had internet cause i could watch nhk from internet .and gave me a big pamphlet where so many rules were written so i didn't read it . that guy was so pushy so i had to give my cash card to swipe. and later found out there were so many people who had tv but never paid it and people who didn't have tv and still paid it . my friend went abroad for 6 months but still had to pay even though he called nhk and said he will be out for a long time and nobody will be watching tv before going.

looks like time i stop paying to nhk .

2 ( +3 / -1 )

haha, so many foreigners have ended up paying the NHK fees because their goody-two-shoes J-spouses gave in.

At least I got mine to tell them we only received terrestrial channels, so no BS surcharge! (BS satellite, that is.)

So, it's not too bad a hit. And, I actually do watch NHK. It's the commercial channels that I can't stand.

(Ironically, she doesn't watch NHK, and only watches the commercial channels and those annoying shows with the talentos and "comedians" yelling at each other. And those garish sets! Holy crap!)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Imagine for one moment that everyone got rid of their TVs and went back to old flip phones and got all their news from the papers?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru - Thank you for your explanation. I thought other networks are also broadcasting these services. However if this is the case then it seems it is mandatory for people to pay to receive such warnings from the government. It does not seem fair to those with lower incomes, the elderly, etc.

@Obedience - you bring up good points. As for me I keep a battery operated shortwave radio around and got a ham radio license. Amazingly enough ham radio operators were one of the most reliable methods of communication after 3/11 as many hams (especially in Japan) do an amazing job of ensuring repeaters and associated equipment are capable of staying on line in disasters. We even do drills for this type of stuff.

I think these fees should end or NHK should be funded in a different manner. I have no evidence but I would not be surprised if there is not a bit of graft going on at NHK

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tokyo-Engr,

“It does not seem fair to those with lower incomes, the elderly, etc.”

There are various exemptions/discounts for those on welfare, families with members living separately for school or work, etc.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

when NHK brings me live NBA-NFL games, every week without news interruptions, they can start collecting money from me

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ganbare Japan!Mar. 27 08:04 pm JST

If you want quality TV,

Anyone ever seen any sort of entertainment programme on NHK that fits that description?

news,

I do just fine with online news.

documentary

I'm never at home when they're on. The ones I have caught glimpses of looked pretty dry.

and Energency Alerts,

I get those on my phone.

you MUST pay for NHK.

I don't want or need any of the services NHK provides, the same goes for other TV channels.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Have you ever heard more of a "Heads I win-Tales you lose" kind of situation? What a travesty.

Makes as much sense as having to pay a parking lot fee whether you have a car or not, or whether or not you even park it the lot.

Japan-shame on your courts for holding this ridiculous law, which is really just an extortionate tax grab, as legal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This sounds like an April Fool story four days early.

I guess all TV capable phones will be made by Japanese manufacturers. The last twenty years have not been kind to the Japanese electronics industry, starting with them being basically banned from supporting mp3 until it was too late and then the mobile providers forcing them to support parallel Galapagos versions of the Internet. This decision means anyone buying a Japanese phone is now on the hook for paying NHK. Japanese phones aren't for everyone, but they are not hopeless. They are much more waterproof than Iphones and support all the nfc payment things some people need for their train pass etc. Way to go for kicking the manufacturers when they are down.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As far as I'm concerned when it comes to NHK is they can come call on me and request payment (and I'll gladly pay) IF they go through the entire country and get EVERY single non-compliant/paying Japanese citizen to do so FIRST. There are millions I'm sure.

This is flawed logic, in that if this were considered to be justifiable, then everyone just has to say the same thing, then no one has to pay.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

gaijintraveller,

“I can watch NHK in some restaurants or a shop. Will that be next on the list of reasons why you must pay?”

Of course not. Unless you are the owner of those shops.

Davidnorell,

“Unfortunately, there are those with ''dumb'' phones that will be forced to pay as well because of the simplicity of the law that NHK adheres to. In this regard, all people using any cell phone, regardless of functionality will have to pay the fee as well. Since that mean that each person owning a cell phone in Japan has to pay”

Wrong This only applies to phones with one-seg and doesn’t apply if the household is already paying the NHK fee because of having a TV.

Shikisai, “It would make sense if it was a very high-quality TV without any commercials so they would need the fees to keep in business.”

NHK does not have commercials.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

 I got his name and NHK ID

Really? When they come to my house I ask to see ID and all but one showed me ID of another company and said they were outsourced by NHK to come. Only once did a REAL NHK person come. That's when I said you should scramble your signal. He chuckled and said "we get told that a lot." Yeah I bet you do, its 2018 you can do anything with digital signals.

Anyway most of the collectors at my house do not actually work for NHK.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Same as the BBC licence fee here in the UK - although in our case one TV licence covers all receivers in the house, including computers, tablets and phones. If you watch the TV on your phone anywhere outside the house and they 'detect' you doing so they'll demand a fee or make you pay a fine. Basically unless you watch only non-BBC catch up TV or downloaded stuff/DVDs/BRs then then Beeb demand payment. Sounds like NHK are the same.

Do I need a TV Licence if I don’t watch BBC programmes?

A TV Licence is a legal permission to install or use television equipment to receive (i.e. watch or record) TV programmes, as they are being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, and to download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer. This applies regardless of which channel you're watching, which device you are using (TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet or any other), and how you receive them (terrestrial, satellite, cable, via the internet or in any other way).

The licence fee is not a subscription to watch BBC programmes but mandated by law. Under the Communications Act 2003, the BBC in its role as the licensing authority has a duty to issue TV Licences and collect the licence fee.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: if the networks are capable of monitoring their viewing audiences for TV programming, it would only be natural that they would be able to monitor cellphones tuning into their programming too ! This ruling is Paramount to opening pandora’s box !!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nhk stopped visiting recently after I answered the door with my biggest butt plug in hand and said, "you're just in time! Come in, there's plenty to share." Not the very adventurous sorts, eh?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

bonesToday  07:05 pm JST

“Imagine for one moment that everyone got rid of their TVs and went back to old flip phones and got all their news from the papers?”

Well, since a lot of the flip phones had/have one-seg function, their owners would be liable to enter into a contract and pay the NHK fees.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just tell them you won't pay, problem solved.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why pay NHK and not the other broadcasters .... something seems a bit wrong here. NHK to me, provides nothing, but I need a TV to watch non-Japanese broadcasts, so why pay NHK ?

which is just the same with your BBC TV license except then you will be served a penalty if caught without one but there's no penalty for not having a NHK TV license.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Which would you trust more, the BBC or NHK ?

As for B-CAS, I once thought Japan would lead the way in technology, but that turned out to be a Joke.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just pay the money, stop complaining. pay for something thats not used by many and isnt enforced by the law for noncompliance!? J gov already gets 1/3 of everything I make In taxes I pay a much higher percentage and volume of taxes than the majority of the J population. So ill continue to minimize my tax burden as Im rightly allowed too do within the bounds of Japanese law without the threat of receiving fines for noncompliance under Japanese law. A law isnt really a law if it isnt enforced and applied to the entire population. seriously way too many sheeple in this country prone to intimidation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@sweetndspicyMar. 28 08:24 am JST

I've been living in Japan for 3 decades, the solution is very simple, disconnect the cable connecting to NHK from your tv, just use a portable antenna to connect your tv so you can still watch nhk and your local tv stations,

Somehow, I think this is the kind of sneakery and going around the rules business this ruling is intended to stop.

Though of course no one wants to pay more money, the venom is actually a bit suprising. Somehow, people are OK with this being a "tax" and not OK with the more restrictive, targeted measure of charging only people that at least HAVE a TV?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Somehow, people are OK with this being a "tax" and not OK with the more restrictive, targeted measure of charging only people that at least HAVE a TV? exactly, taxes are unavoidable for the entire population and punishable under the law, currently the NHK fees while law are not punishable effectively making them voluntary. Its every Japanese right to reduce their tax burden so theyre only paying the absolute minimum their mandated to pay under the law, paying anymore than this your just giving that money away which could be better spent supporting your family.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cripes the courts opened a HUGE can of nasty-arsed worms with this ruling.

Makers of Smart-phones have better get their act together to allow users the option of not having that option/application installed on the customers phone.

This opens the door for NHK to go after the sellers of mobile devices and force them to charge NHK fees when they sell the actual device, because it's going to be next to impossible to do so AFTER the fact.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are a lot of NHK bill collector videos in Japanese on youtube.

Haha yeah I love those videos. There are some good joke/parody ones too.

Also speaking of youtube, Tachibana-san (立花孝志) has some good videos. He does some great bear knuckle phone arguments with NHK people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Article 64 of the Broadcast Law

(Receiving Contract and Receiving Fee)

ARTICLE 64. Any person who has installed receiving equipment

capable of receiving the broadcasting provided by NHK shall conclude a

contract with NHK with regard to the reception of its broadcasting.

However, this shall not apply to those who have installed receiving

equipment not intended for the reception of broadcasting, or receiving

equipment solely for the reception of radio broadcasting or multiplex

broadcasting (broadcasting of voice and other sound transmissions not

coming under television broadcasting and multiplex broadcasting

classifications; the same shall apply to Article 126 paragraph 1).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

(Yubaru)

** There are other TV broadcast news services that operate in the entirety of Japan and they are not scrambled. They operate transmitters and antennas from the same structures as NHK and receive programs by the same fiber optics system as NHK. During times of natural disaster or emergencies BS and CS satellites systems will continue to operate spreading broadcasts over Japan, several channels are currently not scrambled.

If the disaster takes out the transmitter/antenna structure, all the terrestrial stations go out, what remains is any distant transmitter/antenna structures that can be receved. You can prove this by pointing your UHF TV antenna at a transmitter/antenna structure, point it away and ALL the stations including NHK disappear. Same with BS and CS satellites system, point it at the satellite and you receive all stations, point it away and all disappear. It looks like a corner-stone of NHK charter isn't really present.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

FYI: If you call to NHK and tell them "I sold/disposed of my tv" they are obliged to cancel your payment, even if you signed a contract previously.

Source: someone i know did that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Simon Foston Mar. 27  08:14 am

could well be right Simon.... I'll cross that bridge etc.... dare say I'll find a way.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Strangerland See, that's where I don't give a damn and overthink if it's "flawed logic" or not, or the 'what if' of if everybody said such and such then nobody would have to pay... Those are my conditions for me to pay into the ridiculous broadcasting system here. No more, no less.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why pay NHK and not the other broadcasters .... something seems a bit wrong here. NHK to me, provides nothing, but I need a TV to watch non-Japanese broadcasts, so why pay NHK ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All the new digital TV receivers have a B-CAS card, why can't NHK alone be disabled if you don't pay for NHK ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All the new digital TV receivers have a B-CAS card, why can't NHK alone be disabled if you don't pay for NHK ?

Same could be said about the BBC.

During any major disaster NHK becomes the main provider of all the information and what actions are required and gives up its programing until its no longer necessary. Its a vital service to the people. If the service is disabled then people will not have the same access to vital info.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mmwkdw

Which would you trust more, the BBC or NHK ?

what is the purpose of your question?

As for B-CAS, I once thought Japan would lead the way in technology, but that turned out to be a Joke.

Why?

 Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB) are using advanced technology.

I quote

"The B-CAS card is required to decode all broadcasts in Japan. These cards are included with every digital TV or tuner at no charge. To use this card, the end user must agree to the statement written on the registration card. Despite the fact that the card must be inserted to watch TV, if the end user refuses to accept the terms/conditions contained within the statement, the user cannot watch digital broadcasts. Essentially, users are "forced" to agree with the statement. Though registration is not required, it is recommended to fully enjoy interactive programs. Unregistered B-CAS card displays a watermark in a corner of the screen, suggesting the user to register. However, many viewers worry about the leaking of personal information, and the power/rights the TV stations have to access personal information for almost every citizen in Japan. In case of loss or destruction, new B-CAS card of the same number can be issued for a fee of 2,000 yen."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OneSeg. That's the smartphone feature that I think is at question here. Many Japanese phones come with OneSeg functionality. iPhones don't. Nexus phones also didn't.

"OneSeg" means one segment of the 13 allocated for digital TV, if memory serves. The other 12 segments carry an HD signal. The 13th segment is just for smartphones and the like.

So, if your phone is android, and it has OneSeg functionality, then you're legally on the hook.

I guess TV vs. computer display is similar. If you only have a computer display hooked up to a computer to watch hulu, Netflix, etc., then you're not legally obligated to pay dir NHK. If you're using a TV though, it can receive NHK and you're on the hook.

Now if only there was a class-action suit to force NHK to shoulder its obligation to remain independent of the LDP, then there would be justice.

For now, if you don't want to be obligated to pay, but toy want to watch videos, use only big screen displays, not TV's, and choose a phone that doesn't have OneSeg.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and Energency Alerts, 

I get those on my phone.

Only when you have service but like in Tohoku the service was lost so any info was only available from TV/radio. Should keep at least one battery operated radio for use in disaster emergency and needs to be part of everyone's emergency pack. There was also no online service in Tohoku. Think disaster and at least keep some preparations in good order.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably the worst decision made by the High Court and made it but inevitable as with liquor and tobacco tax and even the highway usage fees. In essence a user targeted taxation which in effect "discriminates" the owner while freeing the "freeloader who just "watches" or "takes advantage" of those owned by others.

1) The true place to tax is "one time" at the source, the manufacturer, the importer or the sales person or company as a unit is sold. Then there is no need for the tremendous expense of contracting, recording, collecting, confirming collection, submit discrepancies, process collection for those not paying the fees, then continuing to monitor the use of each and every unit. It must then start to record the beginning and the end of ownership of each and every unit. That is incalculable waste of time, energy and effort translated in to Yen. It just adds to government and to taxpayer expense. It is the kind of worst government control that any High Court should have stopped.

2) If that is not possible then add a "single" "one time" tax when a unit is purchased, in addition to the sales tax already imposed.

3) If that is not possible then use the current technology hardware and software already in place and attached to all TVs and Smartphones which monitors what programs are being watched. Then charge only those that show NHK is or was watched for a certain period of time (eg: longer than 1 hour program more than 3x a month). The source and location of each unit is easily obtained by the locator already installed and each locator has a registered owner and address at the time of purchase. But tax "only once."

The biggest problem for owners is like the internet companies, it is NOT a one time deal.

One must pay "continuously" for as long as owning a unit, minimum bi-monthly for who knows how long. Easy bank payment... maybe... but very dangerous for the owner. No one wants to commit his/her bank account to any government payment which can be monitored and payment taken as tax which is almost impossible to recover. Like the utilities fees paid by bank auto withdrawals, often a family forgets to stop them after the owner user has already passed or after moving residences.

The second problem is it definitely affects the dissemination of information and restricts a medium of entertainment. It is not like WOW or Scupper. It is a Public Broadcast because it is government funded and controlled.

Third problem is that it can extend to computers as well... Then it is another can of worms...

The worst part is the process of identifying and punishing those who do not comply. Another added personnel and expense, if not additional work for the police or the Tax agency. It may create new government jobs, but there are fewer workers to even fill them today. To begin with "collectors" are not necessarily personable when they have government authority behind them. One good way to make the public dislike the government...

For another, it adds another "criminal" in the roles as tax evaders... With this system there will be many many more... There are too many TVs and smartphones already out there...

Very Messy... Very Dangerous precedent...

This one area the entire nation should protest. Have the tax placed "once" "before" the purchase... and forget the multiple payment...

If the courts and the government still persist, then Japan is starting to become an authoritarian state with a very inflexible view of handling "user fees". Best to Tax at the source as if a "tariff" on imports, much more efficient and less burden on the people.

In essence the entire program probably may cost more than the money it collects because of the administrative and operational costs and high risks for misuse besides the already heavy cost of making the programs to begin with.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

After having rambled about Taxes...

If indeed this is a user based fee or tax then it is definitely a indiscriminate taxation but it is "discriminating". It does not identify the actual user/viewer of NHK programs, but taxes the owner of equipment that "may" be used to view NHK programs. It definitely discriminates against those that do not view or have not viewed NHK programs, and may have "stopped" after a certain period, or may only see the program occasionally for specific program of interest. It assumes that everyone "may" view NHK.

It then can only be identified as a tax based on "ownership" like a land tax or an automobile tax except that it is in addition to the sales tax for purchasing the unit, that device, that "may" have the capability to provide the viewing of NHK. It is a user tax in a sense but, it is not a user fee directly related to NHK. A user fee "must" be directly related to the use itself.

It can, by this decision, include all equipment from computers, game machines, automobile GPS equipment that connects to the internet or to any other systems that accesses TV programs. That is because it is a government station and not a private one where one can actually "choose" and "contract" their services.

That is scary... (Are we working for ourselves and our families or for the government..?)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's okay, I have a mobile phone, not a cell phone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What I dont like about NHK is most TV programs are not fun to watch and are not interested. I think most people are same as me. I probably may watch it about 10 minutes a month. NHK keep just making many expensive programs all year around whether audiences are interested or not. It seems NHK is not very important broadcaster any more as there are many other private broadcasters that are very interested.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

haha, so many foreigners have ended up paying the NHK fees because their goody-two-shoes J-spouses gave in. exactly and thats the exact reason I tell my Japanese wife if NHK guy comes around tell him my husband will speak to you, never pay the fee or sign a contract ever. I politely tell them why I cant pay and I never see them again for another 3~4 yrs

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Im perfectly fine with paying NHK fees as long as they make it mandatory and punishable with fines, in extreme cases imprisonment across the entire population. until then it just a law without teeth that discriminates against those that have been harassed into signing up

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I've been living in Japan for 3 decades, the solution is very simple, disconnect the cable connecting to NHK from your tv, just use a portable antenna to connect your tv so you can still watch nhk and your local tv stations,

for your mobile, just say you dont watch tv on your mobile, or check your cp network provider monthly bill if they are charging you for tv, just say you don't watch tv and you don't to ay for it, ask for cancellation if ever they are charging you already

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@gogo: Where shall I send the payment?

I pay the NHK company as I watch the Japanese news on it as well as the fun to listen to translated news. They are also very up on natural disasters around the world. For the ¥1500 or so a month it is worth it.

Some clown came to hassle me about an antenna on top of the mansion, and I asked him what it was.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'll never pay a single yen to have LDP propaganda broadcast in my home by force.

BTW, you aren’t one of those many gaijin who have never paid national health premiums (hoping to back pay a few years to get full service when you get seriously ill), are you?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

NHK has been losing paying subscribers because there has been a loophole for cell phones. There are too many that are using that loophole to avoid paying for content. This will right the scales. Unfortunately, there are those with ''dumb'' phones that will be forced to pay as well because of the simplicity of the law that NHK adheres to. In this regard, all people using any cell phone, regardless of functionality will have to pay the fee as well. Since that mean that each person owning a cell phone in Japan has to pay, NHK's total take will go up by ten times the current subscription method.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I did not pay for over 10 years but decided to because NHK BS, not talking about Sogo, offers some very good documentaries and programs, and does not put any annoying and useless commercials like all these private channels that brainwash you with commercials.

public television is paid in all countries, at least mine, which avoids a huge decrease of program quality.

i understand people who don't want to pay but if you really don't want just don't buy a television

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

 do, its because nobody would watch their garbage programming

I am guessing you really don't know why and use this as an excuse to explain it away. If you did know, there would be no reason to have to "explain" it to them 25 years running!

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The fee for NHK isn't that much. For the amount of time I spent watching the olympic coverage my money was well spent.

The next time a major disaster happens eyes are always on NHK for the info.

At least they don't spam funding telethons like some PBS channels do.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

each time I tell them they should scramble the signal and charge only what users watch.

If you have been here 25 years you should know by now just why NHK can not do what you are talking about, and by law as well.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

If you want quality TV,news,documentary and Energency Alerts, you MUST pay for NHK. It is illegal not to in Japan. NHK has good apps now, to use on smartphone. Just pay the money, stop complaining.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Pay your taxes , there are a lot of self confessed criminals on board here again .

-18 ( +3 / -21 )

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