NHK President Katsuto Momii, who has courted recent bad publicity with his statements about Japan’s wartime activities, has confirmed that during his first day in office, he asked for the resignation of the managing directors of the public broadcaster. However, this is apparently a common practice of incoming new NHK heads as a sort of courtesy action.
Several NHK Executive Board members confirmed the story during a hearing at the House of Representatives Committee on Internal Affairs and Communications. Momii himself corroborated the incident, after refusing at first to comment on the fact that he asked the 10 board members to resign. He eventually admitted he did it when the managing directors themselves submitted resignation letters that did not include the date. “The truth is as stated. Let’s just leave it at that,” the controversial figure said. But he said that asking for a courtesy resignation during a change of administration is a regular occurrence in society. He also believes that this does not in any way “withers the board” but did not specify as to why he asked for the board to step down.
Yoshitaka Shindo, the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, defended Momii, saying that he actually had no intention of getting rid of the board members even as he collected their resignation letters. Shindo said he was just trying to “unify the managing directors and get everyone working hard together.” But sources within NHK said that on his first day at the organization, he already “unnerved” several people in management positions when he said he was going to drastically reshuffle the personnel. But they also said that he asked two general managing directors whose terms were ending by the end of this month to stay on and help with the transition period.
[ via Mainichi ]