NHK Chairman Resigns as New President Takes Office

The succession process has been fraught with discord over candidates for the statecaster's presidency.

TOKYO – The chairman of NHK’s board of directors, Shigehiro Komaru, resigned as its new president, Masayuki Matsumoto, took over on Tuesday, apparently taking responsibility for the messy succession process.

Yoshinori Yasuda, a professor at Kyoto’s International Research Center for Japanese Studies, will act as chairman until a replacement is selected.

The previous candidate for the presidency, Yuichiro Anzai, had agreed in December to take on the role, only for a public row to erupt between him and the 12-member board, led by Komaru.

After a rush to find a new president by today, 66-year-old Matsumoto – former vice-chairman of Central Japan Railway - was chosen.

“Reform must continue not only in programming but also in our broadcast technology and all the services we provide. We must change drastically when necessary while maintaining the classical strength of NHK,” declared Matsumoto in a statement.

Matsumoto called on NHK employees to embrace the challenges of reform and get back to the basic values of public broadcasting.

His first major challenge will be to oversee a smooth digital switchover in July.