The president of scandal-hit NHK said Friday he will replace the entire board of directors later this month to restore public trust in the broadcaster.

The replacement of the eight directors is believed to be an attempt to stop the growing number of television viewers who have refused to pay NHK broadcast reception fees due to a series of embezzlement scandals at the public broadcaster since last summer.

President Genichi Hashimoto said he has chosen NHK employees to be the new board members. Their appointments will take effect April 25.

The broadcaster’s board of governors approved the selection Friday.

The two-year terms for seven of the members expire April 24, and the eighth, whose term lasts until September 2006, will step down for health reasons, NHK officials said.

The current directors were appointed by Hashimoto’s predecessor Katsuji Ebisawa and approved by the board of governors. Ebisawa resigned in January to take responsibility for the embezzlements.

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