Photo: Twitter/@osasimi0999
national

NHK fee collector leaves threatening notes on people’s doorsteps

42 Comments
By SoraNews24

Many people in Japan have long had a tumultuous relationship with the country’s public broadcaster, NHK. Ever since the government decided it was the station’s own responsibility to collect funding from the public, the troubles began.

Every country has its own way of generating money for their public broadcasters but in Japan, NHK is largely left to fend for themselves and have outsourced a team of bill collectors to do the dirty work for them.

On one hand, they largely get the job done. Recent estimates say over 80 percent of Japanese residents pay their monthly TV license fees – although this rate shot up after the Japanese Supreme Courts backed NHK’s right to demand money from virtually anyone, even if they don’t watch NHK.

On the other hand, in many instances the conduct of these collectors has been compared to that of an organized crime group. Homes have been vandalized, and sexual assaults have occurred. As a result, many people never answer their door out of fear that it’s an NHK collector on the other side.

So naturally it’s not uncommon for these collectors to ring a door bell and get no reply.

In such cases the collector often simply leaves a boilerplate note in the mailbox which reads: “I visited today regarding the broadcasting license fee. Because you weren’t home, I will visit again.”

However, that’s only moderately unsettling. Luckily for them, there is also a small space where your local collector can add their own personal touch, such as one did to Twitter user Tomoki Sajiki (@7j4HKgv1GET5MzZ).

▼ “You have a sticker on your entrance, so next year when the crackdown begins, you will be in trouble.”

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 8.39.47.png

Saijiki also happens to be a member of the Protect the Nation from NHK political party which has the sole agenda of ending this practice of door-to-door demands for money from people who might not even want to watch NHK.

As a public service, they offer “collector-repelling” stickers for free that people can stick to their front door and state their allegiance to the Protect the Nation from NHK Party. This in turn tells the collector that the people inside are belligerent time-wasters who are not worth the effort.

However, according to the collector who left the message above, NHK has something mysterious planned about these stickers next year.

This tweet prompted a reply by Osashimi Kuwaeta Doraneko (@osasimi0999) who shared their own personal handwritten note. they’d received from an NHK collector.

 “IF YOU ARE HOME OPEN THE DAMN DOOR”

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 8.40.57.png

That bluntly worded one in particular elicited a strong reaction from people online.

“Scary.”

“So they’ve completely become the yakuza then.”

“I have to think only evil people are cut out for this kind of work.”

“That’s a threat, is it not?”

“You should probably go to the police about this.”

“Does it say ‘11 runa 5 de 3 yo‘? That person even writes like a maniac.”

Television itself is a quickly changing entity with more and more people in Japan gradually adopting internet-based services for their visual entertainment. The aging population will probably ensure regular broadcasting such as NHK remains healthy for some time to come, but at some point, this unusual funding scheme will have to be reformed.

And when that day comes, people may finally begin answering their door again.

Source: Twitter/@7j4HKgv1GET5MzZ, Hamusoku

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- “NHK Repelling Stickers” free for anyone wanting to keep away Japan’s public TV fee collectors

-- Anti-NHK activist recommends “magic words” that will drive away fee collectors instantly

-- NHK bill collector arrested for kissing woman on the job: “I thought we were hitting it off!”

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

42 Comments
Login to comment

No one does things the hard way quite like Japan does. Admitting defeat just not an option. Adopting a less pschopathic way to collect these fees. Never!

Take it out of the taxes already. Problem solved. War is over, if you want it, just like John Lennon said. ;)

7 ( +13 / -6 )

A direct debit would sort this out... or as above, take it as a tax... this sounds like NHK have hired the Yakuza to do their dirty work.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It is extortion! I do not have a TV, only a computer, which is connected to a TV, but I do not have a BS card or digital receiver. This means I cannot watch Japanese TV even if I wanted to, but they still persist I pay. Then, there are those with Android phones, who have to pay just because their device can receive Japanese TV. And now, they are also going after people with car navigation systems that are capable of receiving Japanese TV. I had one joker tell me I had to pay because I have a DVD player connected to my computer. I have never and will never pay for NHK because I do not watch Japanese TV ever! There are far too many of these kinds of 'money for nothing' payments in Japan. Things like, real estate, tradesmen services, city hall, car registration and repairs. The whole system is corrupt and extorting money from people is commonplace.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

My buddy wouldn't answer the door whenever the NHK guy came to his house so the "thug" ended up finding out where his wife's workplace was and shook her down for the money there.

The NHK guys wouldn't leave the customer counter until she paid up which she eventually did because she didn't want him to make a scene in front of her bosses and co-workers.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

what taxes, you mad or something?

Abolish it , forever !, and disband NHK , its a political mouthpiece for a ruling political party and nothing more, just like BBC ( although that one actually has other somewhat useful channels)

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Got 1 visit in 10 years in Japan, shortly after I changed places.

Be short and blunt: don't have a tv set, cell phone or a computer.

Period.

Followed by a is that all face.

More you listen or talk, more of your time wasted just like with any other con artist.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Last time 3 years ago one of them was hanging around my deck while me watching him go around my house smoking and drinking my scotch... when he started saying something about me having tv or not ( even though there is no antenna anywhere ) he got a proper osaka accent bark... the only thing he said was gomenasai and never ever returned...

point of story they are hyenas only able to to harass foreigners and women.. should be treated accordingly.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

its a political mouthpiece for a ruling political party and nothing more, just like BBC ( although that one actually has other somewhat useful channels)

I don't know enough about NHK but I can tell you that the BBC is not a mouthpiece for any ruling party. During the Blair era, the DG was forced out of his job (Kelly affair/dodgy dossier/Iraq). The corporation was then muzzled by New Labour and since then, has been constantly under fire from the Tories.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

They came back one time when I acted as if I didn't speak Japanese. The same person came back with an English speaking representative. I simply said Netflix and computer and they never came back again.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

My unemployed wife so kindly agreed to pay including back arrears of 60,000 yen one day when I was not home and very considerately used my personal stamp to sign the contract. Love her so much!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

How many muppets does NHK employ to collect the yearly TV licence? what is the cost of employing them? why didn't NHK set up a direct debit payment and offer a small discount? IS NHK broadcast digitaly? if so they could use a decoder box like Sky Tv then when some one does not pay they shut it off so the house owner can't watch it, unless they resubscribe. IF NHK was to adopt this system they would make they bully boy collectors redundant!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

SpeedToday 04:37 pm JST

My buddy wouldn't answer the door whenever the NHK guy came to his house so the "thug" ended up finding out where his wife's workplace was and shook her down for the money there.

The NHK guys wouldn't leave the customer counter until she paid up which she eventually did because she didn't want him to make a scene in front of her bosses and co-workers.

On people's workplace ! First time I hear that, that's a pretty bad extortion method ...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I watch NHK and still don't pay. I think I might have cracked the 600,000 yen mark in unpaid NHK fees over the years. Haha, I rule!

3 ( +10 / -7 )

I watch NHK so I pay. But I pay by automatic bank transfer. Isn't that cheaper and easier than sending people around every month?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

They once knocked at my door long time ago, I gave them 300,000 Yen, an amount that means nothing to me, and they never came back. Easy strategy if you ask me.

-27 ( +1 / -28 )

If there is an NHK sticker visible then they will come around again and again.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

tell them to colitis off. They have no power and no product worth watching.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Saw an NHK truck with a raised antenna near our house and asked what they were doing. They were evasive but eventually indicated they were eavesdropping on TV reception frequencies in the neighborhood to pinpoint which houses were tuned into NHK (though, incidentally, they would have also learned whatever channel each domicile was observing).

Seriously: Is that even legal?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The law says that I must enter into a contract to pay, so I agree to do so - starting with the drafting of a contract and negotiation of the terms and clauses in that contract.  Just as I have drafted and negotiated contracts in the past.   I have not refused to pay.  They have refused to negotiate a contract.  They leave.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Recent estimates say over 80 percent of Japanese residents pay their monthly TV license fees – although this rate shot up after the Japanese Supreme Court decided to completely ignore the concept of contract law as it is recognized internationally, and backed NHK’s right to demand money from virtually anyone, even if they don’t watch NHK. Are there any other products or services that people are compelled to purchase from organizations that already recieve massive subsidies from the government - aka our taxes?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Cricky

When they start broadcasting JAV, you sir too will change your opinion, since that's your original motif for coming to Japan.

@Joeintokyo

So you are basically to be a criminal and admitted it openly in top of that. Congrats!

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I've had them stick their feet in the door or body block it from being closed. Recently moved house and had one ringing the doorbell, told him my baby was asleep and to go away. He carried on ringing the doorbell for 5 minutes so I had to go out in the cold and tell him to leave. He carried on pressing the doorbell so I disconnected it so my daughter could sleep. I'm waiting for him to come back, don't make pregnant woman angry.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

LOL about the threat letters and some of the stories in here.

For the first time we had the NHK idiots hanging around our neighborhood a little while ago. I happened to have the day off, and was heading out when they rang on my downstairs neighbors door (Japanese guy), introduced themselves and he chewed them out extremely aggressively and finished with a door SLAM!

A few bumbling apologies to a closed door, and they were out of there! Hahaha...I so wish I'd heard what he said!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Edit; I wish I'd understood* what he said!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Hmmm, the person who allegedly received this note "also happens to be a member of the Protect the Nation from NHK political party which has the sole agenda of ending this practice of door-to-door demands for money from people who might not even want to watch NHK."

I suspect this is fake news. Having said that, I can't stand the NHK guys and will never pay.

Four years ago, one of them showed up around 9:30 PM! I was already stressed out because the following morning I had to go to the hospital for surgery, so I was very impatient and told him off. He never came back!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So you are basically to be [sic] a criminal and admitted it openly in [sic] top of that. Congrats!

To quote Sheila: "I may be bad, but I feel...good."

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This is such a shame, if NHK can charge people for "maybe watching" why can't we just walk around demanding money for maybe visiting my website.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

They once knocked at my door long time ago, I gave them 300,000 Yen, an amount that means nothing to me, and they never came back. Easy strategy if you ask me.

Please tell me your address, and when it would be convenient for me to visit!

15 ( +16 / -1 )

See that's the difference between socialism and capitalism. The socialist way is to take your money by force. They don't care if you are happy with their services or not. They don't ask you. They don't care. You are FORCED to give them money. The capitalist way is based on voluntarism. They can't take your money. They have to offer you a servie that you enjoy so you voluntarily pay them. They have to make sure they offer you something you like, otherwise they go bankrupt. NHK should be privatized, and if they can't offer the public a content they like, they should shut down.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

See that's the difference between socialism and capitalism. The socialist way is to take your money by force. They don't care if you are happy with their services or not. They don't ask you. They don't care. You are FORCED to give them money. 

Exactly!

The notes themselves, described in the article, are inexcusable.

As for NHK charging fees, though, no one who supports socialism in principle really has standing to complain about it. NHK's practice is exactly what socialism is all about.

So if you support socialism (most of whose "fans" seem to be people who've never actually had to live under it), then don't complain about NHK. That would be hypocritical.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Just scramble your channel, or have advertisements already. Those who want your programming will voluntarily pay for it, or have sponsors support it. As far as I'm concerned, your programming is crap and not worth paying for.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

point of story they are hyenas only able to to harass foreigners and women.. dont harass me ever, 

i tell my wife that if your ever confronted by the NHK guy to tell them straight don't speak to me you'll have to speak to my husband. I come out calmly and firmly, don't have an antenna on my roof only thing I watch is internet TV , eg Netflix. dont watch NHK as it is not interesting to me or my family . after the second attempt they've never come back again. Until the J government implements laws to make it punishable with fines for non payment such as income / consumption taxes then Ill refuse to pay. I already pay far more compulsory taxes than your average J citizen, Ill be damned if Ill pay any more than what is required of me by law. Tax minimization (no not evasion) is every J citizens/ permanent residence right, you should never have to pay a yen more than what is legally required of you by law, and certainly not for something which you don't consume, eg NHK broadcasts.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Hahahahahaha. Amount of excuses, lies and efforts people will go thru, for a mere 1,250 yen a month fee. That's equal to 2 beers in a pub.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

They don't care. You are FORCED to give them money. The capitalist way is based on voluntarism. They can't take your money.

Obviously not FORCED since the majority of people here seem to have not been FORCED to pay any money. But when the capitalist taxman next FORCES you pay income tax good luck with your bizarre socialism rant.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

They once knocked at my door long time ago, I gave them 300,000 Yen, an amount that means nothing to me, and they never came back. Easy strategy if you ask me.

I could pay that 10 times over if I was required to by law and punishable with fines like consumption/income taxes. There are times in life when matters of principle are far more valuable than any monetary payments people may surrender regardless of a person's wealth or lack of it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Recent estimates say over 80 percent of Japanese residents pay their monthly TV license fees 

So each year NHK collects more money than the BBC. But while the BBC produces outstanding TV and half a dozen superb radio stations (dozens if you include local stations), NHK is satisfied with an output of mostly idiotic comedy, shallow news (with the weather always as lead item), and precious little else.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

We love Japan having lived in Japan over 25 years, BUT, NHK is one thing that makes me never want to live in Japan again!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japanese channels are really good, but still not better than the HK channels hat were shown in the 90s.

NHK has been helping poor developing countries by making good documentaries and donating it with real help in action as well.

So better to pay on these than Netflix or Apple.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

why didn't NHK set up a direct debit payment and offer a small discount? IS NHK broadcast digitaly? if so they could use a decoder box like Sky Tv then when some one does not pay they shut it off so the house owner can't watch it, unless they resubscribe. 

It already has. There are various discounts available.

https://pid.nhk.or.jp/jushinryo/multilingual/english/index.html

If you have cable television you can also pay at a discount through you cable provider.

Their premium satellite channel has an onoxious box blocking part of the screen that is removed if you pay.

NHK like the BBC is not free to set its own charges or how they are collected. That is determined by the government in both countries.

point of story they are hyenas only able to to harass foreigners and women.. dont harass me ever, 

That is not what the article says. It is very explicit that the people being harassed were Japanese.

*Hmmm, the person who allegedly received this note "also happens to be a member of the Protect the Nation from NHK political party which has the sole agenda of ending this practice of door-to-door demands for money from people who might not even want to watch NHK." I suspect this is fake news. Having said that, I can't stand the NHK guys and will never pay.*

That was my immediate reaction when I read this story. Since I am a Japanese citizen, a regular voter, and a former UK resident familiar the BBC and its very threatening approach to license fee collection, I read the bumpf given out by Protect the Nation from NHK. This is essentially a one man band. The guy who heads it is seriously loony. I too suspect fake news or a prank.

In my personal experience, the BBC is far more aggressive than NHK. The BBC puts lawyers on your case and courts will levy substantial fines for non-payment. I finally stopped harassment from the BBC by telling them they could come unannouced any time of the day or night and search my house for a TV. I didn't own one and had no electronic equipment capable of receiving television. They backed off and I ended up with a refund of fees they had been taking from my bank account.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Just tell them that none of your devices were purchased for the purpose of watching broadcasts. Print this out and shove it in their face.

From The Broadcast Act:

Section 6

"Reception Contract and Reception Fees.

Article 64

(1) Persons installing reception equipment capable of receiving the broadcasts of NHK shall conclude a contract with NHK for the reception of the broadcasts; provided, however, that this shall not apply to those persons who have installed reception equipment not intended for the reception of broadcasts or reception equipment only capable of receiving broadcasting limited to radio broadcasting (meaning broadcasting which transmits voices and other sounds and does not come under television broadcasting or multiple broadcasting; the same shall apply in Article 126, paragraph (1)) or multiple broadcasting. "

0 ( +0 / -0 )

(Chapter 3, Section 6)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"capable of receiving the broadcasts of NHK" that's the crux of it all, capable of receiving, wether if you watch it or not, you can still potentially watch it, there was a similar case in the UK I know of and the BBC took this guy to court for unpaid fees, and they used this phrase in court, it was promptly thrown out of court as the guy inquisition was a TV and radio engineer, he had retuned and made it impossible buy removing the tuning section in his tv and made his own tuning equipment only so it could receive other frequencies!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites