It is regrettable that the new NHK chairman made such a controversial statement about “comfort women” during the war.

As we know, NHK is supported by viewers’ money through compulsory collection as if it were a part of a tax. People’s confidence seems to be higher in NHK than in other TV stations because of its supposed neutrality and peculiar public nature.

NHK does not have to concern itself with the wishes of commercial sponsors, so it has had more choices and freedom when developing programs.

People trust information delivered by NHK during an election, disaster or the occurrence of something uncommon.

Katsuto Momii’s remark may leave people with a strange and preposterous impression that could tarnish the confidence that NHK has built until today. Such a remark will also encourage political intervention at NHK.

The new chairman should realize that his stand is more precarious and weaker than it may look because of NHK’s bearing as a “public vehicle.” It is bound to make his business in the future more difficult and tiresome.

shuichi john watanabe

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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