NHK Seeks a New President -- Again

A public spat with the board of governors means the newly-appointed president will not serve.

TOKYO – Public broadcaster NHK will have to look for another president, after the candidate due to take over later this month had a very public spat with the board of governors.

Yuichiro Anzai, former dean of Tokyo’s prestigious Keio University, agreed last year to succeed Shigeo Fukuchi when the current president’s three-year term ends on Jan 24. However, Anzai has said he cannot now work with the current chairman, Shigehiro Komaru, or the rest of the 12-member board, following an argument over terms and conditions.

"I repeatedly declined the board's offer for me to assume the NHK presidency and finally accepted it for the sake of the country," Anzai told reporters. "Nevertheless, I was asked to decline the offer. I am really offended. The board of governors has judged me only from rumors, some of which are defamatory.”

Anzai has accused the board of rumor-mongering about perks and personnel about whom he is alleged to have made demands. Komaru allegedly asked Anzai not to assume the post of president after having persuaded him to accept the position.

After Anzai’s announcement the governors held a meeting to decide what their next step would be. Local media is reporting that an extraordinary meeting is to be held on Jan. 15 to announce on a new president.

A spokesperson for NHK told The Hollywood Reporter that nothing had been officially decided on yet.

The governors of NHK -- officially known in English as Japan Broadcasting Corp. – are appointed by the prime minister and approved by both houses of parliament.