NHK has eight TV and radio channels: two for terrestrial TV broadcasting (general and education); three for satellite TV, including one for high-definition programs; and three radio channels including an FM service. Heizo Takenaka‘s panel argued that one satellite channel is enough and three radio channels are too many for public broadcasting.
The proposed reduction in the channels should be combined with substantial streamlining and downsizing of NHK’s bloated operations to allow a sharp cut in the viewing fees, the panel says. In return, viewers would be legally required to pay for NHK’s services under a new fee system, possibly supported by penalties for nonpayment.
If you’ve lived in Japan, you probably have some experience with the NHK henchmen who troll around apartment blocks trying to collect NHK service fees. Everyone has their own method of dealing with them: say you don’t have a TV, say you don’t get NHK reception, answer the door stark naked, scream in Turkish, etc. But I’m going to hate the day when NHK is legally empowered to collect from me. Sod off, Domo-kun.