The next target of Koizumi’s Deadly Big Government Assassination Squad?
NHK “has too many stations. If NHK is to focus on overseas broadcasting, it will have to reduce some of the existing” channels, Koizumi said of a request he made to Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Heizo Takenaka during their meeting earlier in the day.
Some background on this: NHK is currently contemplating setting up an English-language channel, an idea that Koizumi has been pushing. This channel would serve honkies living in Japan, and also be available on cable and satellite overseas, like a backwards version of CNN or the BBC. There are some obvious problems with the concept: not many people overseas are likely to need a Japanese channel in English, and the channel doesn’t address the growing number of non-English-speaking foreigners in Japan, but the idea has something of a cool factor going for it.
Of course, another problem is paying for this through the existing license fee system. Many Japanese people are likely to object to subsidizing the new Gaijin Channel, so NHK may actually end up funding its overseas programming through the demons of advertising.