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Japan’s NHK boss under pressure

November 4, 2013

By Chris Forrester

The president of Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, Masayuki Matsumoto, is widely expected to resign and not seek re-election when his term of office ends on January 24th. Local reports suggest he will not seek re-election. Matsumoto is not a broadcaster, and was previously vice-Chairman of Central Japan Railway.

Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reports: “Although the government and ruling parties, as well as financial circles, appear to give Matsumoto a passing grade in carrying out organizational reform of the broadcaster, strong voices are calling for his replacement.”  If he is replaced the new appointee will again come from outside the broadcasting industry.

NHK governing body contains 12 senior officials. An NHK president needs nine or more votes from this 12-persdon committee if he is to retain his position. This committee has been interviewing other potential candidates.

Matsumoto was appointed in January 2011 and is credited with cutting waste at NHK and reducing the viewing fee, and trimming salaries of some highly-paid staffers.

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