Dane Lavery comments

Posted in: High court finds cell phone TV owners obliged to pay NHK fees See in context

"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.

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Posted in: Gov't panel proposes limits on driver's license for elderly See in context

This paper, although dated(1993 ~ 2003), makes interesting reading - http://www.css.risk.tsukuba.ac.jp/kashin/papers/5/IPC13-sekine.pdf

The paper, which is entitled "Analysis of Accidents by Older Drivers in Japan" by Kazumoto Morita, Michiaki Sekine of National Traffic Safety and Environment Laboratory, Japan,  has some interesting but also some questionable conclusions. The Authors are aware of that and describe some of their conclusions about older drivers as conjecture.

Fig 4 of this paper looks at the number of accidents per year for three groups of people. Young (16-24) Middle Aged (40-49) Old (65 years and older)...

Bear in mind that the 65 year old group steadily increased in a straight line since 1993 ~ 2003 whilst the younger drivers steadily decreased along with a not so dramatic drop in middle aged drivers. The accident rate for young people is twice the rate of old and middle aged people. By 2003 the middle aged group and the old age group was about the same.

There appears not to have been any consideration of the steady increase in old drivers which doubled over the same period.

The accident rates for young people has increased at the same rate as the middle aged and old aged people but their numbers have decreased from 10,000,000 to 8,000,000 and the middle aged from a high of about 16,000,000 to the 2003 level of 14,000,000 whilst old people increased from 4,000,000 to 10,000,000. No correction factors have been applied.

The conclusions are quite clear.

1 - Accident rate is increasing for all groups.

2 - The group that is by far the safest is the old group as although their numbers have doubled their accident rate is no greater than middle aged drivers.

3 - The groups that have the problems are the young and the middle aged.

Why is the accident rate increasing steadily for all groups. The answer is probably to do with the performance improvement in cars between 1993 and 2003. This was not considered. Drivers in 2003 likely traveled faster than they did in 1993 as engine power output and ride comfort increased.

There is also the introduction of mobile phones over that period - not considered.

Targeting old people, who are clearly, from the data the safest group of drivers for much more stringent controls seems counter-intuitive when compared to middle aged drivers they are as safe or safer drivers and as for young people...well they are statistically twice as dangerous as the other groups.

Older drivers considering their increasing numbers is statistically contributing far less and the numbers of accidents per capita are actually declining in the contribution to the National Accident rates...by a lot...actually down by 45% in the same period if correction is applied.

The sooner AI computer driven cars are introduced for all driving the better.

Arguments that they will not be introduced due to concerns about liability claims will not be a problem once Insurance Companies refuse to insure human drivers. Autopilots in aircraft have had failures over the years and yet they are universal because they are usually safer than human pilots.

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Posted in: Bawling Japanese politician sentenced for graft See in context

Thunderbird2 - I was surprised to read your comment about the meaning of graft...The use of the word graft to mean (hard) work might be common usage but the definition of the word graft in the OED and CED show one of the three main meanings of graft as "To make money by shady or dishonest means." See for exampl:


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