• Kyodo News


NHK on Saturday named Masayuki Matsumoto, vice chairman of Central Japan Railway Co., as its next president, and his three-year term will begin Jan. 25.

NHK’s board of governors selected the new president at an extraordinary meeting convened after former Keio University President Yuichiro Anzai rejected the post last week.

Matsumoto, 66, served as president of JR Tokai from 2004 to 2010, when he became vice chairman of the rail operator. He will succeed Shigeo Fukuchi, whose three-year term ends Jan. 24.

Anzai, 64, said Tuesday he refused the position because of his distrust of the board of governors and its chairman, Shigehiro Komaru.

Anzai initially accepted the board’s offer to become NHK president late last year, but Komaru later asked him to decline it because the 12-member board was concerned about speculation that Anzai had attached conditions involving personnel affairs and perks, sources said.

Matsumoto will become the broadcaster’s second president in a row selected from a private organization.

Fukuchi, 76, assumed the presidency in January 2008 after serving as president, chairman and adviser of Asahi Breweries Ltd. He has previously expressed his desire to retire, citing his age and health.

Fukuchi assumed the post after his predecessor, Genichi Hashimoto, resigned to take responsibility for a series of scandals involving NHK staff.

NHK’s board of governors handles every important matter concerning management policy and operations, including the annual budget and operational plan, the broadcaster says on its website.

The appointment of NHK president requires the backing of at least nine members of the board.

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