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Communications minister Ryota Takeda on Friday urged NHK to lower its viewing fees at an early date.

Takeda, speaking at a news conference, criticized NHK President Terunobu Maeda for showing a reluctance to lower fees soon.

“If we don’t do it quickly amid the coronavirus pandemic, when will we do it?” the minister said.

He added, “I hope that the public broadcaster, which is financed by viewer fees paid by the people, will sincerely think about what it should do to reduce the burden on households.”

The minister praised KDDI Corp. and SoftBank Corp. for eliminating fees imposed when subscribers switch from their main brands to low-cost brands, saying they made “certain achievements.”

But he stressed the need to continue examining whether there is really no extra cost involved.

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