Japanese public broadcaster NHK’s new president may be big on personality, but as early as now, some are doubting his ability to be the head of a huge media entity. Katsuto Momii will be succeeding outgoing president Masayuki Matsumoto by the end of January and the expectations are huge.
The 70-year-old comes from a family that runs a coal mine in Fukuoka Prefecture but grew up in a cultural environment. He often talks about his “wild country boy” beginnings, saying people sometimes misunderstand him because of the way he talks. But there is no misunderstanding him when he said during a news conference that his appointment had nothing to do with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration preferring him over other candidates. “I’ve worked where politics didn’t matter,” he emphasized. He refused also to comment on the fact that most people see NHK’s news representation as “biased” towards the government, simply saying he has chosen his career “as a public person.”
During the news conference announcing his appointment held in December, he was careful about the things he said, probably afraid of making a slip, but it didn’t stop him from giving out several quotable quotes. The former vice president of Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and CEO of Nihon Unisys says that his autobiography is actually more interesting than that of the hit series “Hanzawa Naoki”. He also says his new appointment is the second time he has become a “carpetbagger”, referring to his storied career. His tenure will end by 2017, and only then will the public be able to decide his value as president of one of the country’s largest broadcasters.
[ via Mainichi ]