New NHK Chairman Katsuto Momii has admitted it was inappropriate to present his personal view on the wartime “comfort women” prostitution system.
At a meeting Tuesday of NHK’s Board of Governors, Momii expressed regret over his remarks, according to Kenichiro Hamada, head of the board.
Whether Momii should resign was not discussed at the meeting, Hamada said at a news conference.
“I have to say he lacked the awareness that he is heading the public broadcaster,” Hamada said. “I strongly hope that he will fulfill his duty with determination.”
At his first news conference as NHK chairman Saturday, Momii said every country had a system similar to the comfort women system that the Japanese military had before and during World War II. The comments provoked a backlash from South Korea and China.
According to Hamada, Momii explained at the board meeting that he was careless with his remarks because he was not used to speaking before reporters.
NHK said it had received about 3,000 comments from the public on Momii’s remarks as of Tuesday morning, of which 60 percent were critical.
In a statement to NHK staff, Momii said he has no intention of reflecting his personal views in broadcast content and pledged to observe such principles as fair and unbiased broadcasting, as well as freedom of expression.