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NHK proposes reduction in TV reception fee

Public broadcaster NHK on Nov. 8 formally proposed reducing television reception fees by about 50 yen per month from next autumn in a meeting of its Board of Governors, as the broadcaster looks to compile its budget for the coming fiscal year.

The board did not reach a conclusion on the proposal.

Board Chairman Susumu Ishihara, a senior executive adviser to Kyushu Railway Co., declined to disclose details of the board's discussion to reporters after the meeting.

"I would like to refrain from commenting on the process of the budget compilation," he said.

NHK President Katsuto Momii explained in a Board of Governors meeting on Oct. 11 that net income stood at 28.8 billion yen last fiscal year and that NHK would practically finish amassing funds for the rebuilding of its broadcasting center in Tokyo's Shibuya area by the end of the current business year. He indicated that about 3 percent of broadcasting fee revenue -- roughly 20 billion yen -- would be applied to reducing the reception fee.

Some members of the Board of Governors expressed concerns that the reduction was too small, and said that the broadcaster should provide a clear basis for working out the amount. However, Momii is believed to have decided that a reduction in the fee was possible.

Currently the terrestrial broadcasting fee is 1,260 yen per month for bank transfer and credit card payments.

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