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Tokyo court rules that hotels must pay NHK fees according to the number of rooms with TVs

110 Comments
By Krista Rogers

Last year, we brought you news of a court ruling in Yokohama which stipulated that anyone who owns a device capable of receiving a TV signal, regardless of whether they’ve entered into a contract with NHK (Japan’s public broadcasting station) or not, is legally obligated to pay the NHK licensing fee. An important point to note is that the fees are only paid once per household, and not according to the number of TV sets or devices capable of receiving a signal in the house.

However, a recent court decision seems to be taking the issue of NHK licensing fees in a whole new direction. On October 9, the Tokyo District Court ruled in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit that the management company behind three Tokyo hotels must first enter into a contract with the public broadcaster. Furthermore, the hotels, all three of which had refused to enter into contracts despite repeated requests from NHK, must also pay their overdue licensing fees in proportion to the number of hotel rooms with TVs.

While many people (Japanese included) flat-out refuse to pay the monthly fees, maintaining that even though they own a TV, they never watch NHK broadcasts anyway, the recent ruling by Tokyo District Court Judge Kenkichi Sakuma identifies a section in the Japanese Broadcast Act which states that any individual who is the owner of a device capable of TV reception is technically bound by obligation to enter into a contract with NHK.

As a result, he ordered the hotels to both open a contract with NHK and to pay their unpaid fees from the period of August 2013 through May 2014 according to the number of TV-equipped rooms in the hotels.

According to Asahi Digital, the hotels have approximately 280 rooms with television sets, along with units in the dining area and other locations. Taking these numbers into account, the total unpaid licensing fees that the hotels’ management company must pay adds up to a staggering 6.21 million yen.

Whether you’re an avid viewer of NHK or not, perhaps this comment from a Japanese Internet user sums up the entire court decision best: “It’s a great win for the electronic yakuza.”

Sources: Livedoor Blog, NHK News, Asahi Digital

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Don’t own a television? Japan’s public broadcaster doesn’t care, but still wants your money -- Japan’s public broadcaster goes thug-style, tags the house of man who refuses to pay fees -- NHK gets weather reports backwards, no one notices for months

© RocketNews24

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110 Comments
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We seem to be approaching Orwell's telescreen here.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Well thanks NHK now because of this hotel rates are going to increase to cover your stupid greed!

14 ( +15 / -1 )

A real smash and grab if you ask me.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

“It’s a great win for the electronic yakuza.”

LOL

15 ( +16 / -2 )

That judge just gave NHK some very overreaching power in that decision. I wouldn't be surprised if their political views are inline with the right-wing conservatives.

Wow, is that going to apply to all hotels? I would just removed the TVs and replace them with computers. Let the guests watch netflix or another Internet-based streaming company. No TV cables just Internet access.

What about love hotels, electronic stores, offices, schools, and train stations? They might as well try to make us sign contracts at the store when you purchase any device. Or will stores give our personal details to NHK (government), so they can track us down? How many other items are going to put us into legally binding contracts simply because of their capability and being in our possession?

This is a very slippery slope which could have serious implications far beyond a hotel not paying fees.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

That's too bad for the hotel, but I'll still continue to close the door in the face of collectors. I do not EVER watch Japanese TV an that is all there is to it. NHK would have to pay me to watch their rubbish!

12 ( +16 / -6 )

They really need to find a more sensible way of funding NHK, the whole notion of forcing someone to enter a contract (something which by definition is supposed to be voluntary) makes no sense whatsoever.

13 ( +13 / -2 )

NHK has tried and will continue to try and extort money from me which I refuse to pay.....

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I agree with senseiman. Money from the government ought to go directly to NHK, especially since there is no opting out. That alone would save on hiring people to be annoying recorders and collectors of payments, which neither NHK nor the general public wants to be on either side of.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How does funding NHK compare with funding BBC?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

a staggering 6.21 million yen

1000 yen / hr times 2000 hours / year = 2 million yen / year.

So somewhere around the cost of three low-wage employees for a year. Staggering to an owner of a single home, but not to a hotel with 280 rooms.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How does funding NHK compare with funding BBC?

It's roughly similar except that the UK TV Licencing Authority will prosecute any homeowner without a TV license that they detect receiving a TV signal, and a judge will make them pay £1000. So it's a lot stricter. On the other hand at the BBC they do seem to feel at least some obligation to make or broadcast programmes that everyone wants to watch.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

According to a section.of Japanese Broadcast. Act. "

High time to change the dinosaur era section of the broadcast act then, it seems to be there just to.make.sure all the amakudari leeches at NHK have enough ongoing revenue to ensure there overinflated salaries and.bonuses.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

While the BBC puts out a lot of very quality programs, NHK doesn't. Now that the head of NHK is one of Abe's yes men, it's pretty much useless.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Solution: Scramble!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

NHK is good. I bet there is not one poster here who has not watched the Taifu news on it. I am calling you out on that one.

NHK has lots of good programs for kids and adults. I watch it all the time and pay the small monthly fee.

-28 ( +8 / -34 )

Say goodbye to TVs in those hotel rooms

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's too bad for the hotel, but I'll still continue to close the door in the face of collectors

It's called a peephole, look into getting a door that has one.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@tallpinedog

How does funding NHK compare with funding BBC?

It doesn't mattrr, as the BBC is not some 1950s dinosaur and actually puts out quality content (both through programming and online). NHK is a joke!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

any chance of them taking the case to the supreme court? they should

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If they provide their customers/guests with the use of a TV they should pay the fee, but per room seems a bit steep. Some kind of commercial licensing deal needs to be worked out.

-2 ( +4 / -7 )

Should I feel bad for listening to NHK radio and podcasts, but not paying for it?

-2 ( +0 / -3 )

NHK have been particularly active in my neighborhood of late. I wonder if this is a sign of a new "NHK drive?" I still won't let them in anyway.

A few years ago someone in our mansion let the NHK guy in so he did the rounds in the building. I didn't own a TV at the time but he did start asking about my PC, my phone etc. I'll bet they're gonna start chasing fees for internet capable devices a lot more often.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

DisillusionedOct. 14, 2014 - 08:11AM JST

I do not EVER watch Japanese TV an that is all there is to it. NHK would have to pay me to watch their rubbish!

Actually, a lot of Japanese watch NHK programmes.

Here is the TV rating (viewership) of last week. http://www.videor.co.jp/data/ratedata/top10.htm

They have 8 categories (1. News, 2 Culture/Education, 3 Music, 4 Drama, 5 Anime, 6 Movie rerun, 7 Sport, 8 Variety).

NHK had most watched programmes in News, Music and Drama Categories.

4 ( +8 / -5 )

My JHS that I work for must have 50 TVs... I wonder if they will have to pay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

MissingCylonModelOct. 14, 2014 - 09:57AM JST

Should I feel bad for listening to NHK radio and podcasts, but not paying for it?

NHK radio programmes are free of charge. (Broad Casting Law, Article 64)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

so the fee collector shoyuld have to go to each and every room and knock on the door to colect the fee. good luck with that!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nhk is such a tool for government propaganda. They force you to pay because they know if you're paying for something you're likelier to watch it. Then forcefeed you their line

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It surprises me that the court could force someone to sign a contract. I would think Japanese law would have some provision to fight that - though the courts here sometimes ignore the laws in their rulings, so it may not matter.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does the court have the power to force someone to sign a contract? I don't think they do. If the contract isn't signed what can the court do? A contract is only valid if both sides agree to the terms. If NHK refuse to negotiate that should be a valid reason for not signing the contract. After all the tripe about the "typhoon" on NHK yesterday I don't blame anyone for not paying them.

Of course, this is Japan, so logic and common sense have no place. The courts seem to think they can force people to sign contracts under duress. Yet such contracts are legally invalid. The "justice" system here is run by dangerous clowns.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

StrangerlandOct. 14, 2014 - 10:45AM JST

It surprises me that the court could force someone to sign a contract.

The law says one must sign a contract with NHK if he buys a TV set or TV sets that is capable of showing NHK programmes. If you do not like to sign the contract, do not buy a TV set. If you eat an apple, you have to sign a contract to buy it.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

NHK is good. I bet there is not one poster here who has not watched the Taifu news on it.

You bet wrong. 100% internet, baby!

14 ( +20 / -6 )

The law says one must sign a contract with NHK if he buys a TV set or TV sets that is capable of showing NHK programmes. If you do not like to sign the contract, do not buy a TV set. If you eat an apple, you have to sign a contract to buy it.

I do not need to sign a contract when I buy a TV set. I know this because I bought a TV last month, and there was no contract that went along with it. I simply gave them the cash, and they gave me the TV. They don't even know my name.

The government would like to legislate me to sign a contract after that fact. But a contract is supposed to be a memorandum of agreement between two parties. But I don't agree to the idea of paying for NHK, as we don't watch it in our house (our TV is only a monitor for our computer, we don't use it for TV).

9 ( +9 / -0 )

CH3CHO

The law says one must sign a contract with NHK if he buys a TV set or TV sets that is capable of showing NHK programmes. If you do not like to sign the contract, do not buy a TV set.

Does not the law say that all households must have a NHK TV license regardless of whether there's a TV or not. I have always refused because (i) I don't have a TV and (ii) I don't watch NHK.

If you eat an apple, you have to sign a contract to buy it. ???what contract do I sign to buy an apple?

What about institutions like large hospitals which can also have hundreds of TV's?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

North Korean televisions and radios are restricted to a very narrow band of frequencies for obvious reasons. Perhaps some TV supplier could offer a similar product in Japan that excludes the NHK frequency. Hotels would provide a good market.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Brings back memories of me shutting the door in the face of BBC agents asking me if I had a license or not.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

That happened in America when a cable company demanded payment for all televisions in a private home get charged. The company was the only one in the area. The company was taken to court and was immediately told they could only get paid for the service that was hooked up outside of any home or building not by each television in them.

The cable company then doubled their fee to homes and raised the price to businesses by eight times the home price. They were then ordered by the court to set their fees back to the normal price and was ordered to create a cable company to give the people a choice of providers with that company being sold to an independent broadcasting company.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I don't slam the door on the NHK harassers; I just ignore them now and no longer speak to them.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

by this logic I should charge NHK about 2000 bucks per hour for my entire life. I have the potential to be an actor and NHK has the capability to shoot videos with me in it !

Nonsense...if they want more money just say so and increase the taxes. Why STEAL from us with this silly caveats !

4 ( +5 / -1 )

NHK income for in May 2013 was ¥660 billion while expenditure was ¥640 billion. ¥638 billion was income from TV fees.

Article 64 of the Broadcast Law:

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 Broadcast Law of Japan (1950)

The Broadcast Law of Japan (1950) applies to all residents of Japan, regardless of nationality. NHK is established under this law as a public broadcaster operated on the basis of receiving fees levied fairly on all viewers. Every owner of a television set is thereby required by law to enter into a Broadcast Receiving Contract with NHK and pay the appropriate receiving fee.

Door to door NHK TV license collectors are only agents paid by commissions.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Nonsense...if they want more money just say so and increase the taxes. Why STEAL from us with this silly caveats !

By the way increasing the taxes would be stealing too! Be thankful this isnt the BBC.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I was just fresh in Japan a couple of years back and when the NHK guy explained me the whole process at my doorstep, I had no choice but to pay up. After receiving the receipt for the payment, I complained that even of that is the rule, it isn't fair because I use my TV only for the PlayStation and that I didn't even have the cable that connected the RF signal to my TV. He took a moment and then called his company explaining the details. He was told by the guy he spoke to (prpbably his supervisor) that since I couldn't really understand Japanese language and the gist of most programming, I be refunded the amount and the receipt be cancelled. I developed a respect for the NHK guys then. H-O-W-E-V-E-R, when I moved a couple of months back into my new apartment, I wasn't at home when another NHK guy came a knocking. He was loud and rude according to my wife (who, unfortunately gives in too easily if someone's those things) and she not only paid up, but filled their form furnishing the bank account auto debit details. I got home and was told the story of what had happened and I could only go ... Aaaaaaarghhhhh. Wish I had told her how to explain our situation. Damn, I still don't have that cable and use only AppleTV mostly or YT on PS. I'm going to go buy myself that cable, now that I'm already paying.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I use my TV only for the PlayStation and that I didn't even have the cable that connected the RF signal to my TV.

Sounds like you have an analog TV. If that's the case you are going to need more than just a cable, you'll need a converter box to receive the digital signal.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Once NHK guy who came over , has put in his leg to prevent me from closing the door. I almost punched him, and he got a mouthful including a police threat. Since then I have never ever seen NHK people. that said, why would you want a TV in Japan anyway, most people I know don't watch that rubbish and any interesting programs today are available for streaming.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

In the old days, TV sets in Japanese hotels had a little coin box that let room occupants buy their viewing time in 60-minute increments. Maybe it's time to bring back that system. Then NO one would watch. They'd tune into their cell phones instead.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

its simple really .. until there is a law that says youll be fined for not paying the fee then you can refuse to pay. NHK cant take everybody to court, theyre just trying to use high profile cases too scare the population into paying. last time a NHK guy came I basically said in a firm tone that I dont watch NHK as I dislike the station and I watch all my TV via the internet overseas. he bowed and left havent seen him since.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

shonanbb: "NHK is good. I bet there is not one poster here who has not watched the Taifu news on it. I am calling you out on that one."

I didn't. Not one single second. And while NHK has SOME decent programming, for the most part it is not good at all -- it sucks.

CH3CHO: "If you eat an apple, you have to sign a contract to buy it."

Bad comparison. It would be more like if you bought an apple because you wanted to eat it, then some advertising company came along and demanded you pay them because you're going to eat a product they advertise. If that apple is in your house, you not only pay whom you bought it from, but the companies that advertise it! It's extortion by a third-party, plain and simple. If you own a TV and use it only for DVDs, that's all it is.

I hope all hotels get rid of TVs for this reason put up posters explaining why.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

While it is safe to say that a small number of Jpeople aren't paying NHK dues, majority of the gaijin aren't. Considering that even in this govt housing I'm living, most apts housing gaijins have varying satellite discs. Why is it that most of us gaijin want to be treated as "equal " as the Japanese when most wants to skip a simple law as NHK subscription dues? `@puregaijin, had a similar incident, when I was at work and my son was home one Saturday. Set a letter to NHK relinquishing the contract my son signed since the tv I received from a friend was very old and was used for Play Station only andeven if you open the tv, the images were very blurred for the only 2 channels that were visible. I even urged them to come personally and see it for themselves. Since I was on the day shift then, I was asked what time I was at home. Never did I realized somebody would be coming even at 8pm. At the end, I was relieved of those dues but I still won't want to have one. Just don't want to contribute to something that is already far richer than I.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Considering that even in this govt housing I'm living, most apts housing gaijins have varying satellite discs.

How ironic a gaijin living in Japanese government housing refusing to pay for a Japanese government funded service.

Oh and BTW a lot of those apts that have satellite dishes on them are paying for BS broadcasting which is also NHK as well and roughly 2,000 per month MORE than those who do not have the BS service.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What a bunch of fascist pig garbage being forced to pay for state run media. I feel like Im part of their propaganda machine by being forced to support these poopheads who run NHK.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

A lot of J don't pay. And theoretically, we are all supposed to pay who have a DS, smartphone, feature phone, etc.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Channels not supported by mandatory subscriptions are making money with advertisements. So why not do that?

Or encrypt signals and sell access like satellite broadcasters do.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Shonanbb: I also did not check NHK. I recommend Wunderground, personally.

I think it's a complete waste of resources. If we have to pay it, then it should come directly out of tax money. Imagine how much money could be saved by automating this (and for that matter, every other ancient paper-file system big banks etc are still using)

Alternatively, do it like PBS. Once a year they have a donation week where a bunch of celebrities set up a call center. People can call in, donate money and talk to a celebrity for a few minutes. Put the AKB girls in there and you'd make your annual budget in minutes.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Quote: "Channels not supported by mandatory subscriptions are making money with advertisements. So why not do that?"

Well this is the key - public broadcaster that doesn't pollute the air with advertising! I hate most of the private channels - there are moments 2/3 are adds and you see only Messi and his goal when Barsa actually lost!

NHK might have corruption and amakudari but their programs are of high quality most of the times. And if some were overwhelmed by the typhoon coverage - well this is also their obligation - because they are supposed to be received even in the most remote places and also TV signal can be received on radio.

About the fee - I don't agree to their terms - too expensive for something mandatory! Should be no more than 1000 yen, then I might get in contract.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japanese TV is appalling, NHK produces the better programmes, but compared to the UK it's still generally poor quality stuff. Look at Massan - it makes Crossroads (one for Britons of a certain age there) look like Upstairs Downstairs. Here's a thought - why not hire some proven quality programme makers from abroad? Yes, I know, it's never going to happen.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I suppose what will happen is that the budget rooms will have no tv but the upgraded one will, of course they will be more expensive to cover the cost, we had a similar court case here in the UK where "the TV has the ability to receive BBC programs" so a few wiz kids removed the the part from the TV that receives the BBC frequency, but allowed the TV to receive any other channel, I think they wone the argument and didn't have to pay the BBC for a TV licence, but it cost a huge amount in leagle fees, so who wone? I think that it was done on principle.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

No one and I mean absolutely no one has to sign their name or signature on anything.

It would be preferable if NHK garnishes the wages of every single working citizen in the country. If all powerful you are do it NHK!!

The answer is......I don't own a TV and you have no right to search my home!

IF the police assist NHK with the power to do search and seizure then we have truly lost our liberties.

Can you imagine if these people...excuse me.....collectors......hung out outside your window listening? Can you imagine if NHK reserve the right to be present as you are moving in your personal items? What if every time you made a purchase it was reported to the government.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I have a better solution. NHK can send a representative to each hotel room every evening to collect the fee. That would be very entertaining, especially dealing with those tired travelers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Only three above claimed they did not watch NHK yesterday. I do not believe that.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

shonanbb: Every time I turned on NHK yesterday, and even this morning when it was sunny with a light breeze, they were talking about a "typhoon". It hadn't been a typhoon since Sunday afternoon; it was only a tropical storm yesterday. Then we get pictures of someone standing in a hard hat talking about puddles forming somewhere or other. It was pathetic, inaccurate scaremongering.

We do pay the NHK basic fee. I only tend to watch the news, which just causes me to become vexed by the blatant pro-LDP bias. Many of the other programmes seem little different from the commercial channel "variety" rubbish, consisting of a room full of shouting half-wits. It's not worth the money really and I don't think I will be buying another TV.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

JWithersOct. 14, 2014 - 03:50PM JST

The answer is......I don't own a TV and you have no right to search my home!

If one does not have a TV set, it is OK to say so. But if he does, saying so would constitute a crime of fraud and he should expect a couple of years in prison.

Elizabeth HeathOct. 14, 2014 - 03:41PM JST

Japanese TV is appalling, NHK produces the better programmes, but compared to the UK it's still generally poor quality stuff.

I have watched a few BBC programmes on Japan and Japanese culture. All of them were of lowest quality possible. Probably, same could be said of its other programmes.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

I have watched a few BBC programmes on Japan and Japanese culture. All of them were of lowest quality possible. Probably, same could be said of its other programmes.

Strange, considering BBC TV wins so many awards.

saying so would constitute a crime of fraud and he should expect a couple of years in prison.

never never heard of anything like that happening. Do you actually work for the gov't?

Legally if you have a receiver like a TV capable of NHK the you are required to have a TV license whether you watch it or not. NHK has no way to enforce the law so reply on its users to play fair. These days, it also includes computers and mobile devices.

In my 20+ years here I have never had a license on the grounds that I don't watch NHK and now I don't even own a TV.

I used Sky Perfect via satellite for more than 15 years and then changed to internet TV (Hiraki). I still don't watch NHK but if I did legally I would be required to have a license.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

zichiOct. 14, 2014 - 05:23PM JST

Strange, considering BBC TV wins so many awards.

The awards, set up by media industry and received by media industry.

NHK has no way to enforce the law so reply on its users to play fair.

Oh, and why do we have court oders to make fraudulent viewers pay to NHK?

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

CH3CHO

The awards, set up by media industry and received by media industry.

no not all of them and some are independent wards or awards from writers and critics or the oscars which are awarded by its members. The BBC also wins many awards for its news reporting. Why do so many British actresses and actors win awards? Why do American stars appear in BBC dramas? Sorry but I think you are just wrong about the BBC.

Oh, and why do we have court doers to make fraudulent viewers pay to NHK?

Just how would NHK even know if there are fraudulent viewers and who they were and where they lived since they don't use any form of detection vans or equipment. NHK replies on the honesty of its viewers.

There are 47 million homes which are occupied and most have a TV. That times the fee would make about ¥658 billion. I would conclude more than 90% of households have a license. There are about 40 million licenses. Some people stopped paying for their license because of the scandals involving NHK.

NHK does not chase viewers who don't pay until you have a link to that?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I am watching NHKnow. They have a lot to offer.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

zichiOct. 14, 2014 - 06:50PM JST

Why do American stars appear in BBC dramas?

Because they speak English. Is appearance of American stars any endorsement for "quality"? If it were, some of those silly Japanese commercials featuring American stars would be of some quality.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Just replace all TV by computer.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

CH3CHO

Britain leads International Emmy nods with 6 http://www.japantoday.com/category/entertainment/view/britain-leads-international-emmy-nods-with-6

Is appearance of American stars any endorsement for "quality"?

I would say when top stars are appearing in British TV programs its because they feel its worth the effort since its not about pay. So many British dramas also cross the pond because of their quality but I can understand your jealousy. I have not criticised NHK programs just I don't watch.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

International Emmy is a typical award that is set up by the industry and awarded to the industry. It is nothing but a big promotion event for the industry.

I would say when top stars are appearing in British TV programs its because they feel its worth the effort since its not about pay.

You seem to worship TV starts. I simply do not.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

CH3CH0

You seem to worship TV starts. I simply do not.

I don't worship. Period!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@CH3CHO Blind defence of something and not being able to accept criticism is incredibly childish.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Is there anyone on this site that has been able to stop the payment for whatever reason? I think that is the hardest thing to do if not impossible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No one and I mean absolutely no one has to sign their name or signature on anything.

I couldn't get my driver's license until I signed my name on the electronic scanner. State government law, don't you know. So much for "no one and I mean absolutely no one has to sign their name or signature on anything."

It seems that the solution to this debacle is already ramping-up: Internet shows. NHK is locked by law into a 1:1 relationship with a TV purchase, so the solution is drop all your TVs off on NHK's doorstep and just use the internet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And NHK parade of absurdity goes on....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The information I would have liked to see in this article is what percentage of hotels are already in compliance with the law? If most are, I hardly think this ruling is going to cause any increase in room fees for hotel patrons.

I have for more than ten years frequently stayed at two locations of a business hotel chain. They have made many improvements over the years, including switching from analog to smallish flat screen digital TVs and then again to larger screens, putting large humidifiers in each room, upgrading the clock/light control units in the bed headboards, etc. But the room fees have remained consistent. I suspect they are already compliant with NHK fees, but even if not, I expect this would be a cost like all the others that they deal with in a way that doesn't have a negative impact on the patrons. The yearly fee is only the equivalent of 2 to 3 nights down to less than one night, depending on the room and booking plan. Hardly anything to panic over.

"Many of the other programmes seem little different from the commercial channel "variety" rubbish, consisting of a room full of shouting half-wits. "

Gosh, I missed those programs. Guess I was too busy watching the programs dealing with various social problems, the interesting historical programs, good dramas, the fun interactive Onrei Chakushin, the local program for senryu poems in the area's dialect, the excellent SONGS program, and more. Are there NHK programs that I don't like? Of course. There are many programs that I don't care for and will not willingly watch. But that would be true for any broadcaster in any country. If I had to watch some of the stuff that are favorites of some of my US relatives, I would probably prefer to drop dead.

The sweeping statements, heard so frequently, that all Japanese TV / NHK is (insert profanity of your choice), frankly strike me as either racist, or born of lack of fluency in the language leading to inability to appreciate the contents of good programs.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I never pay... :p it seems silly to me. never watch the station, so why do i have to pay good money for it?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Educator 60: Excellent post!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is there anyone on this site that has been able to stop the payment for whatever reason? I think that is the hardest thing to do if not impossible.

When broadcasting switched over from analogue to digital, we did several months with no TV. I phoned NHK and told them we had no TV, and a very nice, polite lady sent a form for us to fill in and send back. The fees we had paid in were refunded, backdated to the day analogue stopped, no problem. If you have no TV, no means of receiving broadcasts, you don't pay. There's nothing impossible about it at all.

(We now have a nice flat-screen and we're happy to pay the fee.)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Blind defence of something and not being able to accept criticism is incredibly childish = Japanese Logic.

i dont know why Zichi wasting his time with him/her.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Zichi tells us that the NHK's income was JPY 660bn, which is GBP 3.8bn at the current FX rate (170). The BBC's income from licence fees was GBP 3.7bn. They also earned an additional GBP 1.4bn from commercial operations. So the BBC's total annual income is slightly higher, but they earn ball-park the same amount each year. Comparing the quality of output of the two broadcasters, you have to wonder where the money the NHK earns goes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How does funding NHK compare with funding BBC?

There is no real comparison to be made. The BBC is one of the world's premier broadcasters...and NHK isn't.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The cost of basic NHK license is nearly ¥15,000. The cost of BBC colour TV license is about 145 pounds (¥24,000).

And there is an additional fee for anybody owning a satellite dish, increasing the total for those households to between Y25,520 (£110) and Y28,080 (£121).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is ridiculous. If a resident of Japan goes to the hotel, by definition (at 99%) he already pays the fee from his home TV set. If a non-resident, he does not need to pay by law.

Ripp off cr.....p!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oops, was in a rush earlier and totally messed up the name of a program I mentioned. It's not Onrei Chakushin, but Chakushin Onrei! Keitai Ogiri. Sorry!

A few other thoughts that come to mind.

"While it is safe to say that a small number of Jpeople aren't paying NHK dues, majority of the gaijin aren't. "

Do we know that to be true? Are you including all the many foreigners who are members of Japanese households?

I do think there is room for discussion of changes in the law, pricing structures, and methods used to ensure compliance. (I might consider signing up for BS if the combined fees were lower.) And I would have no objections to an organized movement to change the law. But the belligerent, petulant child ranting of some is just, well, extreme and infantile. As is the quibbling about whether one can be forced to sign a contract. I might not want to sign up to pay income taxes but I still have to pay.

As for those bothered by the collection agents, if they enter your home, call the police. If you truly do not have any of the applicable equipment, tell them so politely. Like Cleo, I lived for a period without a TV and just told them so and did not pay. They looked doubtful as it was so rare but I just stayed polite and convincing. It's not surprising that they come around again and again, because, duh, they're trying to get people to comply with a little something called the law. You can avoid them entirely by going to the internet, visiting the NHK site, and doing the entire registration process, including selection of payment method (credit card, automatic bank account debit, and others) online.

Thanks shonanbb :-) Although I must say I doubt that you are correct in thinking everybody watched typhoon news on NHK.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

CH3CHO

I have watched a few BBC programmes on Japan and Japanese culture. All of them were of lowest quality possible. Probably, same could be said of its other programmes.

Funny, as their documentary Children of the Tsunami was one of the most gripping docos I've ever watched and trust me - I watch a lot.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Open Minded "This is ridiculous. If a resident of Japan goes to the hotel, by definition (at 99%) he already pays the fee from his home TV set. If a non-resident, he does not need to pay by law."

So by that logic, if you take a bus trip, you would be upset that the bus company had paid for number plates for their buses and, oh the horror, might be passing that cost along to you in the form of jacked up bus fares, even though you already paid for plates for the car sitting at home in your driveway?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@hkitagawaOCT. 14, 2014 - 07:06PM JST

Just replace all TV by computer.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Hotels are expecting tourists from USA, etc than Japanese even it is not Olympic time yet Cox and other cable companies serve oversea travelers. So, my guess is that hotels will get inexpensive computers on inexpensive table in all the rooms. They can donate TVs. HD screens on computers. DR Who and other BBC series beside /sports game and USA programs and movies.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Who needs a TV in a hotel? Couples don't wacth it, kids have their games and the rest have smartphones and iPads. Don't give In to NHK. Remove the TVs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I got my fill of Japanese TV in the first week in Japan while I was still in a hotel. My only saving point was that I had no Japanese knowledge at the time so it was a tiny bit entertaining.

Now, I only watch stuff on the internet.

I was once informed that smartphones, such as the iPhone are considered TV devices, but as far as I'm aware, iPhones are not capable of receiving a TV broadcast. How can they enforce that?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most hotel TVs use a cable system to deliver programmes. It should be simple to remove NHK from the available channels, thus avoiding the need to pay the fee.

I've also wondered what NHK is doing with all the money they receive. Their output in terms of TV and radio is much smaller than that of the BBC, on a similar income. A lot of the NHK cash is wasted on "production companies", which charge a small fortune to set up those outside broadcasts of tedious concerts from shimin kaikan around the country. Of course, the "production companies" are staffed by former bureaucrats and other wastes-of-space, earning large sums for doing very little.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

CH3CHO

Thanks very much for the link to the page that shows TV ratings, it was interesting to read and compare my own preferences with what's popular.

Another aspect the article does not mention is that there is a discount system for commercial multiple unit users. I believe hotels would qualify for the half-price for the second unit and beyond?

Also wish the name of the hotel group had been given. With only three locations that were not following the law, according to another article I read, two in Tokyo and one in Gifu, I am curious as to what kind of hotels they were and what kind of organization is running them.

I doubt if we will see all TVs being removed from hotels anytime soon. I would think most major chains are already in compliance with the law so this court decision wouldnt mean anything different for them. And the majority of hotel rooms around the country are generally occupied by Japanese patrons so the viewing preferences of foreigners would not be the deciding factor.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan and its dinosaur era laws...SMH.

NHK should be an option. How can they mandate you pay for it if you don't watch it? If it's because the law says so, then it needs to be re-written!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just a reminder to y'all that even if the NHK guys catch you, you are under no legal obligation to answer their questions or even talk to them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

shonanbb you are quite strange, most people in 30s I know in Tokyo at least dont watch tv at all , we are all busy and dont have the time or desire to watch idiotic and racist shows. Any weather coverage can be fully satisfied by opening your smartphone and you will receive precise and efficient information to the location you specify. any TV show you desire can be streamed as soon as its on Air either for a small fee or free if you care to look long enough.

The whole mandated government tv service originally started in good way , but in this century it is no longer valid or required and should be supported by ads and voluntary subscriber fees if there are enough people who want to watch it. In one of the countries I lived before actually , they have commercialized that ( it used to be same shit as nhk ) and today its properly ad supported, with additional value digital programming available and very high quality with people actually wanting it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I do think that NHK should find a better way to fund itslef.

That said, last night, I watched an NHK program about police investigation of crimes and it questioned the way Japanese police were conducting their investigations recently. Concerns about validity of proof leading to indictments were voiced and the program showed examples of "misinterpreted" evidence which resulted in mistakenly convicting people for crimes committed by third parties (not the convicts). The program also showed what is being done to improve security cameras and footage quality. I have seen other such programs on NHK and give them credit for trying to make the public aware of presentday problems in the Japanese society.

It seems that many people who say that the NHK programs are of low quality have not watched NHK recently. I would recommend that you should see some of the programs before you slam the station for law quality.

As Senseiman said, just like with other TV stations, there are programs which I do not care to watch. However, there are also many others which give you a balanced view (by presenting different points of view) on topics which should be discussed in order to make people aware of problems caused by outdated laws, inaccurate investigations, biased interpretations of facts, etc. In addition, I love the fact that when I watch NHK my ears do not hurt with the loud and often silly CMs broadcast every 15 or 20 minutes - something which really bothers me with other TV channels .

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That is nonsense

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It should be simple to remove NHK from the available channels, thus avoiding the need to pay the fee.

Not any longer. When we got EO the first time, we could opt out of NHK BS etc. We moved two years ago, I asked for the same deal, they say now that it's no longer possible to opt out of NHK. I think it indicates that enough people DID opt out that it was putting a dent in their revenue. They're closing the loopholes. But the programming! When sumo's on, all BS channels are sumo....high school baseball, that's all they show (at the time I first opted out at least...haven't seen BS lately). The few foreign shows they had were at odd times, and far behind cable. It's a lot of money for very little content. We have gone with 'simple color' service and we pay something like 14,000 yen a year, I wonder now that you can't opt out of BS will the cheaper option still be allowed?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just stop all this silly fee-collection business, decide how much money NHK requires to function, and allocate that amount directly from the government.

Any advanced nation ought to provide for a high-quality state broadcaster; that's what taxes are for, despite what the tea-party loons and their kind would have us believe....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JaneM "That said, last night, I watched an NHK program about police investigation of crimes "

That was Closeup Gendai, a program that is nearly always good, and often excellent. I nearly mentioned last night's episode in one of my posts but refrained as I'd only seen about half of it (but even in those 15 min I learned a lot). I agree with what Jane wrote. I always find it ironic that so often the very people who claim to never, ever, never watch NHK (or Japanese TV in general) are also so convinced of the worthlessness of NHK (J TV) programming. How would they know? Even if they watched enough ten or twenty years ago to convince themselves it was all bad, what would they know of today's TV?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sorry, Educator60. I made a mistake with your name m( )m Yes, that was it! I cannot watch it often but I do learn a lot when I manage to spare some time for it. I do wish more people would make an effort to really see the documentaries and discussion programs before they comment on them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They caught up with me two months ago. Was onna 5year streak.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I always let them in, insisted they come, begged them to come in. Then, I'd blabber away in complete gibberish: Japanese/English/Yiddish/Tongues.

Eventually, they sent round a fellow fluent in English. I tried to convert him. To Scientology.

:)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, I can see NHK man knocking your front door for to collect NHK TV monthly license fee from tomorrow. It will be NHK man if someone knocking your door and you don’t expecting someone visiting you. .

Let me advice you, you need to pretend do not understand Japanese and tell him I'm from China or whatever. You should greeting with "Nihoa". If your Japanese name was on the apartment Postbox and your door and then taken out both.

If they caught you and then give him old bank account or clean up account and close it after gave it to NHK's license fee collector. I have done it after paying license fee for 6 months to NHK.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Never met one of these NHK guys till I moved into a new apartment. It was this middle aged man with a really warm smile. The kind of person you'd feel bad about slamming the door in their face with. He rang my doorbell while I was playing a game so I ignored him. After I went out and came back from the grocery about 40 minutes later, he rang my doorbell again. It's creepy how he stalked the building for such a long time.

I told him that I don't speak Japanese and he assumed that I don't watch TV. He was right. After that, he wrote something in his little memo pad and left. He saved me the trouble of having to consider slamming the door in his face.

Not sure how often these guys show up but I haven't met another one since then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Any individual who is the owner of a device capable of TV reception is technically bound by obligation to enter into a contract with NHK? Most smartphones have TV tuners pre-installed. So how about just charging everyone? Why in this age and technology isn't NHK able to simply shut down their channels if someone refuses to pay? Oh wait, that would result in nobody's giving a big fart about it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Not sure what this has to do with an "electronic yakuza", that would imply this ruling is in television manufacturers' interest, which it is not. While this probably won't cause hotels to stop putting televisions in their rooms, there will probably be a shift to monitors without receivers / tuners. Would be surprised if this will stand though

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@educator60, Iam particularly referring to apts sponsored by hakken kaishas. Most are equipped with gas stoves air cons refs, aircons, microwaves and even tvs. But no NHK dues is ever deducted. I just wonder if the hakken kaishas are paying for it directly from the apt rent fees knowing that those fees are basically higher. But I doubt it. And foreigners living in Japanese households, oh, I don't even think about them as non paying simply because their Japanese partners/householders oversees most of the bills and most if not all esp the green ones, do act more than an ordinary Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Time to replace all tVs with monitors and pay for cable TV only or dvds. Of this happens Jspans Electronic mskrrs will crash then we will see a backlash against NHK which produces such drab and poor content that ots estimated up to 30% of japanese with TVs refuse to pay the broadcasting fee.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

NHK does not have the right to enter your home....period.

NHK is not the tax agency either and therefore do not have the authority to do an audit.

"Sorry NHK no TV here"

Furthermore they do not have the technology to determine if you are even watching.

This is a matter of freedom to reject information that you do NOT want in your home. There are devices available to block any unwanted signal from your home, tv and mobile.

If you want to broadcast in this home you had better pay me. I pay the rent here and I decided what gets in.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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