Shigetada Kishii, a Special Senior Writer at the Mainichi Shimbun who appears as a commentator on television programs such as "News 23" and "Sunday Morning," will be appointed "special commentator" at Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc., the private broadcaster commonly known as TBS announced on Jan. 15. Kishii's new status goes into effect April 1.
According to TBS, Kishii will have an exclusive contract with the broadcaster, and will appear in a wide range of news and news-related programs to offer commentary. This is the first time TBS has created such a position.
Kishii will continue to appear on "Sunday Morning", and will appear in election specials and a wide range of other shows. As for "News 23," which is to undergo a renewal in April, Kishii will appear as a commentator on occasion.
At the Mainichi Shimbun, Kishii has served as managing editor of the Political News Department, Chief Editorial Writer and Managing Editor. "I will continue to deliver messages from the front lines of journalism," Kishii commented in response to the announcement of his new appointment. "I am well aware of my responsibility and mission, and have a renewed resolve."
According to TBS, Kishii's new post had been deliberated and discussed with Kishii since last fall to coincide with the renewal of "News 23."
Subsequently in mid-November, a civic group took out ads in Yomiuri Shimbun and Sankei Shimbun criticizing Kishii for saying on the Sept. 16 broadcast of "News 23" that the public should continue to call for controversial security legislation to be scrapped. The ad accused Kishii's statement of being "a serious violation of the Broadcast Act."
TBS officials say that Kishii has expressed his own opinions on the program in the past, and that many viewers accept them. They also explained that the new contract "was in the works before the ads," and added, "It has absolutely nothing to do with Kishii's remarks."