An NHK union will demand the resignation of President Katsuji Ebisawa to take responsibility for worsened business conditions due to scandals including alleged embezzlement by a former chief producer, members said Saturday.
The 8,500-member Japan Broadcasting Workers Union plans to officially decide on the policy Nov. 9 and submit a written demand for Ebisawa’s resignation, they said.
After the alleged embezzlement of some 49 million yen by the producer came to light in July, a number of viewers refused to pay fees for the public broadcaster, the union said.
Many of those viewers said they will continue to refuse to pay unless Ebisawa steps down, according to the union.
Naomi Okamoto, secretary general of the union, said the body decided to seek Ebisawa’s resignation because NHK’s businesses could be irreversibly damaged unless current management is replaced.
NHK’s public relations office said it has not heard anything from the union about the demand, but said it is determined to restore public confidence by sparing no efforts in reporting on the recent earthquakes and typhoons.
Between late July and the end of September, NHK accepted 31,000 refusals by people refusing to pay their subscription fees, according to the broadcaster.
About 1,000 manager-level NHK officials have been visiting viewers to collect the fees, the broadcaster said.
The scandals also involve the Seoul bureau chief’s padding of costs for news coverage and two other producers’ claims for expenses for fictitious business trips.
Ebisawa and all of NHK’s board directors have taken salary cuts over the scandals.
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