A recently appointed member of NHK's board of governors has admitted withholding payment of the license fee for two months in 2005 to protest a program about the controversial issue of whether school teachers should be required to sing the national anthem.

Michiko Hasegawa drew attention last month after it was reported she praised a rightwing activist who fatally shot himself in 1993 at the Asahi Shimbun daily's Tokyo head office.

A column in the July 2005 edition of the monthly magazine Seiron carried two letters by Hasegawa, who expressed her intention not to pay the fee. The professor emeritus at Saitama University, who was appointed to the NHK board of governors last December, is said to have paid the sum at a later date.