Ask anyone who has lived in Japan for a period of time what one of the most annoying things here is and they’ll probably tell you the NHK Man. It might seem surprising that a public broadcasting company has earned such universal loathing, but as the collection agents who come calling for NHK fees are notorious for collecting fees in a way not dissimilar to loan sharks, it’s not hard to understand why.
Now, thanks to a new initiative from Japan Post, the NHK Man’s ruthless pestering to get people to cough up for a TV license won’t just be limited to persistent door-to-door calls, but through the post as well.
On May 17, Japan Post announced a new special service where post can be delivered without the need for the recipient’s name — just an address will be enough to get it delivered. The service was introduced on a trial basis last June to help “support NHK subscription fee collection operations” in areas such as sending out bank transfer forms and documents to households without an NHK license. After several other companies requested to be able to use the services, the ‘Special Delivery Mail’ service was made official.
Each item sent will cost, on top of regular postage fees, an additional 150 yen for standard mail — considerably cheaper than the average NHK Man hourly salary.
Netizens had a lot to say about Japan Post’s new initiative; considering how unanimously disliked NHK is, most of the comments were unsurprisingly negative.
“NHK are getting desperate! This is no different to regular junk mail. Trash.”
“If the NHK have the money to spend on this kind of thing, they should use it instead to scrap the license fees.”
“Considering all we’re going to do is rip up the letters and throw them away, what’s the point?”
“I can see this turning into some sort of breeding ground for fraud.”
Sadly, the new initiative from the post office means that this tactic at getting the NHK Man to leave you alone might not be as effective anymore. Anyone wishing to avoid paying the fee will have to think of more creative ways to keep their letter boxes NHK free, like nailing a board over the mail slot. Alternatively, you can just… you know, pay up.
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