NHK viewers are asking for Katsuto Momii to resign from his post as the broadcast firm’s chairman because of insensitive remarks that cast doubts on his political neutrality. Around 3,300 viewers called for the new chief to step down after causing controversy with several remarks last month.
The publicly owned Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) received around 15,000 comments by the afternoon of February 10, with most of them complaining about the new chief. In his first press conference as NHK chief, Momii said that all nations at war employ “comfort women” for their soldiers, referring to women who were forced into sexual slavery during the World War II. Koreans and other Asian nationalities were victims of this cruel practice. He also criticized South Korea’s continued demands for compensation to the said victims. Momii seemed to justify the newly passed state secrecy law, a law that has earned criticisms because of the way it seems to threaten the public’s right to know.
Momii is just one among the few NHK officials that are criticized by the public because of their nationalist views. Around 1,200 negative comments were made against NHK writer and governor Naoki Hyakuta. Hyakuta’s latest remark denying the 1937 Massacre of Nanking earned him ire, not just of the Chinese, but the Japanese public as well. Hyakuta also described the Tokyo war crimes tribunal as a way to disguise the devastation the U.S. cuased during the WWII, including the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Great Tokyo Air Raids. NHK governor and professor emeritus at Saitama University, Michiko Hasegawa, also didn’t escape the public’s wrath. Hasegawa lauded right-wing activist Shusuke Nomura for his suicide at The Asahi Shimbun’s president’s office in 1993 and denounced the gender-equal society law, which she blames caused the nation’s low birthrate.
[via Asahi Shimbun]