National

Public split over idea of NHK scrambling broadcasts to exclude nonpaying viewers, poll shows

JIJI

The public is evenly divided over whether TV broadcasts by NHK should be scrambled to make them viewable only by paid viewers, a survey shows.

The survey by Jiji Press found that 39.0 percent of respondents agree with the idea, 37.1 percent disagree and 23.9 percent are not sure.

In the July election for the House of Councilors, the Diet’s upper chamber, NHK kara Kokumin wo Mamoru To (Party to Protect the People from NHK) won a seat by campaigning for scrambled NHK broadcasts.

The survey showed that respondents supportive of the party fully back the idea of scrambled broadcasts.

The proportion of respondents in favor of the measure was between 30 percent and 40 percent among supporters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, junior coalition partner Komeito, the major opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Japanese Communist Party.

NHK opposes scrambled broadcasts, arguing that the measure runs counter to the principle of public broadcasting, which allows people to watch programs wherever they are in the country.

The survey was conducted for four days through Monday, covering 2,000 people 18 or older through interviews. Of them, 62.3 percent gave valid responses.

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