You may have heard a thing or two about NHK collectors in Japan. They come around door-to-door asking people with televisions or even smartphones–or any TV-equipped device, really–to pay a mandatory yearly fee of up to 24,800 yen per year. While it doesn’t seem like a huge amount, this fee and the people who come to collect it (often with aggressive methods) have led to fierce opposition to what many consider a great overreach of power by the NHK.
That’s why when a Tokyo woman won a court case against the NHK, anti-NHK proponents celebrated. The ruling exempted her from having to pay the fee because she had a television that had come with a signal blocker that she did not know how to uninstall, paving a legitimate way for all those who wish to avoid the fees.
Unfortunately, not even a year later this ruling was overturned, forcing the woman to pay the fees on the basis that if a television can receive a signal or be modified to receive a signal–in this case, with a signal booster–then the owner of the television is obligated to pay the annual fee.
Naturally, the woman chose to appeal this decision, but on December 2, the First Claims Court of the Japanese Supreme Court rejected the appeal, which upheld the overturning of the ruling. With this appeal rejection, this woman will be obligated to pay her annual NHK fee, which is of an undisclosed amount.
This latest setback in the war against NHK is disheartening for anti-NHK proponents, who have seen loss after loss in recent years. Even the leader of the Protect the Nation from the NHK Party was ordered to pay his fee! The party has since changed its name to the Protect the Nation from the Old Parties Party, implying that the focus of their initiatives has changed, so it would seem the glimmer of hope for avoiding NHK fees is fading.
Source: Kyodo via livedoor News via Otacom
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