Embattled NHK chief Momii says complaints at 20,600 since taking charge

JIJI

NHK President Katsuto Momii said Thursday the public broadcaster had received some 20,600 complaints about him between Jan. 25, when he assumed the post, and Wednesday.

Of the 31,900 or so responses related to him, about 5,900 expressed support, Momii told a session of the House of Representatives Committee on Internal Affairs and Communications.

In regard to his request for NHK’s top executives to submit resignation letters, Momii said their two-year terms should be shortened to just a year to put them on a par with directors at private companies.

During the Diet session, Akio Fukuda of the Democratic Party of Japan grilled Momii, saying he had heard from NHK officials that 30 percent of the viewers’ responses involved threats about their subscription fees.

Momii said that even if viewers threatened to cancel payment because of his remarks and behavior, they still have to pay if they own TVs.

He also said NHK plans to boost efforts to collect fees to prevent revenue from falling.

Momii apologized again for expressing what he said were his personal views on the wartime “comfort women” and how NHK should avoid contradicting the government on policy, but stressed he had not changed his opinions.