NHK’s Report Exposed ‘Internal Embarrassment’ of Own Staff | FRIDAY DIGITAL

NHK’s Report Exposed ‘Internal Embarrassment’ of Own Staff

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It was discovered that Mr. Kitagawa had been using NHK’s office building in Shibuya as his personal property.

On October 2, the Johnny’s office, which has been shaken by the issue of sexual assault by former president Johnny Kitagawa (87 years old), held its second press conference in Tokyo.

At that press conference, NHK scooped up the existence of an “NG reporter list,” which prohibits the nomination of certain reporters. Furthermore, on October 9, NHK reported the testimony of a man who had been sexually assaulted multiple times by Johnny Kitagawa in the restrooms of the Shibuya Broadcasting Center. A media source familiar with NHK revealed that the news on the 9th in particular is attributed to internal circumstances at the station.


“I hear that the news department is trembling with anger at the allegation that criminal acts were being committed at the headquarters and center of the NHK Broadcasting Center. The outrage is directed not only at Mr. Kitagawa, but also at the program production department, which knew about it and had tolerated it for many years. It seems that the reporters are covering the story to show their own raison d’etre, that they must thoroughly drain the pus out of the story. NHK is at an unprecedented crossroads, wondering where it will go now that both news reporting and program production are on the verge of falling off the rails.”

NHK consists of two pillars, news reporting and program production, with the main event of the latter being the Kohaku Uta Gassen (Red and White singing contest) on New Year’s Eve, which has been struggling for viewer ratings due to the recent shift away from television, and was just barely holding its own when the late Johnny Kitagawa’s sex-abuse scandal brought to light his close ties to the Johnny’s office.


Incidentally, the average household viewership ratings for last year’s Kohaku Uta Gassen were 31.2% for the first part and 35.3% for the second part, and 31.5% and 34.3% respectively for the year before last (Kanto region, Video Research data). It is no exaggeration to say that it is thanks to Johnny’s that it has managed to stay afloat despite its continued struggles. Last year, for example, there were a total of six groups (SixTONES, Naniwa Boys, Snow Man, King & Prince, Kanjani Eight, and KinKi Kids), with Sho Sakurai as the special navigator and Jun Matsumoto as a judge, making it truly a “Johnny’s festival”

The Kohaku cast is usually announced in mid-November. Prior to that, at a regular press conference held at the end of September, NHK’s Director-General for Media Affairs, Mr. Hiroo Yamana, when asked if there would be no appearance of Johnny’s at all, stated, “At this point, that is the case.” When asked if there was a rehearsal room dedicated to Johnny’s on the 7th floor of the West Wing of the Broadcasting Center in Shibuya, he replied, “It’s nothing special. Generally speaking, if a program has been running for a number of years, it is necessary to have a rehearsal room on a regular basis,” he said.

One of the victims, former Johnny’s Jr. member Akima Nihongi, shockingly testified that Mr. Kitagawa “used to put elementary school students on his lap.” And the site of the unforgivable act reported in the October 9 news was most likely the restroom adjacent to the rehearsal room.

Board with building plans for the new broadcast center. The completion date is scheduled for December 31, 2036, 13 years from now.

In fact, if there are no more appearances by talents from Johnny’s office, fans will start to drift away from the station, and viewer ratings may drop to the worst in history. People on the news side of the media are aware of the situation at the station and are daring to report the news. One of the media representatives mentioned above revealed the following.


“If the news side discovers that the ratings are declining, the very value of their existence will be questioned, as they are required to take an honest and unbiased stance. That is why they felt the need to report this incident despite the internal suspicions. The NHK Broadcasting Center in Shibuya is a central location for NHK employees and is often referred to as a ‘sacred place’. Unfortunately, the incident has made it inevitable that it will be seen as a place of controversy. It is no joke to think about the feelings of the victims. I think people in the news department must be feeling that way.”

Construction of the Broadcasting Center was completed in 1965 for the East Wing, in 1968 for the West Wing, in 1972 for the Main Wing, and in 1988 for the North Wing. The West Wing will also be demolished, but the pain, suffering, and regrets of the victims of sex trafficking will never disappear.


Scaffolding for the construction work has already been erected, and if all goes smoothly, part of the building will be put into operation in 2025. The cost of the project is estimated to reach approximately 170 billion yen, and there are concerns about whether it will be able to stay within the budget amid soaring construction equipment and labor costs.

The “Notice of Construction Plan” lists the scheduled completion date as “December 31, 2036,” which is surprising.

“The news center, which will house the news department, will be built first, and then the other departments will be built like a jigsaw puzzle. But the completion in 2036 is a daunting prospect. Recently, although they do not appear on the screen, there has been a movement among talented and well-known producers, directors, and cameramen in the industry to transfer to commercial broadcasters, and some of the talented staff in their 30s and 40s are giving up and changing jobs, saying that they’ve lost hope, and this trend is expected to accelerate, not stop. Even if the new broadcasting center is built, I wonder if there will be any core personnel left, because although technological innovations such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) are expected, the foundation is the people.”

The irony is that the “internal collapse” of NHK has been brought to light by the undiscovered news reports, and it would be quite embarrassing if, by the time the new broadcasting center is completed, the excellent personnel who had been working there will be gone. 

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  • PHOTO Takao Kawakami (1st photo)

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