New NHK President Katsuto Momii made headlines around the world with his claim that "comfort women" have been a common feature of conflicts involving "every country." Using sex slaves in wartime, he said, was only wrong according to "today's morality." Causing great concern to press-freedom advocates, he also insisted that "when the government says 'right,' we cannot say 'left.' "

On his first day in the position, he asked all 10 members of the public broadcaster's executive board to submit their signed, sealed but undated letters of resignation. This was revealed at a meeting of the Lower House's Committee on Internal Affairs and Communications on Feb. 25. All the executives agreed.

The president of NHK has the authority to dismiss an executive who fails to fulfill his or her duty, but not without the agreement of the rest of the Board of Governors. A lawmaker who attended the Diet meeting suggested that Momii intends to dismiss executives who have different opinions to his own. Momii retorted: "I don't think executives feel intimidated by my holding on to their resignation letters. It's common practice."