For other uses, see NHK (disambiguation).
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NHK (日本放送協会, Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai), or Japan Broadcasting Corporation, is Japan's public broadcaster. Radio Tokyo is an informal English name for the NHK, referring to its original role as a radio company. It operates two terrestrial television services, NHK General TV and NHK Educational TV, three satellite services, NHK BS-1, NHK BS-2 and NHK Hi-Vision (high-definition broadcast) and three radio networks, NHK Radio 1, NHK Radio 2 and NHK FM. For people overseas it also broadcasts NHK World TV, NHK World Premium and NHK World Radio.



NHK was founded in 1926, modelled on the BBC radio company. A second radio network was started in 1931 and a shortwave service broadcasting to listeners overseas began in 1935.

In November 1941, The Imperial Japanese Army nationalized all public news agencies and coordinated their efforts through the Information Liaison Confidential Committee, which included representatives from the Army, the Navy, the Foreign Ministry, the Government Information Office, the Cabinet Information Bureau, the Home Ministry, the Great East Asia Ministry, the Transportation Ministry, the Domei News Agency and the NHK. Thereafter, all published and broadcast news reports became official announcements of the Imperial Army General Headquarters in Tokyo for the duration of World War II.

NHK started television broadcasts in 1953. It aired its first colour television broadcast in 1960. Although the network first introduced commercial broadcasts to Japan, nowadays NHK is paid for by viewer fees. Residents of Japan who own a TV are obliged to pay a fee of about USD 12 per month under the "Hōsō Hō" (Broadcasting Act). However, the act does not stipulate any punishment for faliure of payment.

NHK World TV started broadcasts in 1995. The entire NHK network moved to digital broadcasting in 2000.


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NHK's mascot, Domo-kun

NHK General TV broadcasts a variety of programming. The following are noteworthy:

  • News. Local, national, and world news reports.
  • Weather. Weather in detail, nationwide, and international for travellers.
  • Sports. NHK broadcasts the six annual Grand Sumo tournaments, high-school baseball championships from Koshien Stadium, Olympic Games, and a range of other sports.
  • News analysis. The network carries in-depth reports on current topics, political debate, and similar programming.
  • Music. The annual Kōhaku Uta-gassen on New Year's Eve is the highlight. The weekly schedule includes an amateur hour, and prime-time shows for all ages.
  • Drama. A sentimental morning show, a weekly jidaigeki and a year-long show, the Taiga drama, spearhead the network's fiction offerings.
  • Documentaries. NHK has become known for its documentary series, first popularized by the miniseries Legacy for the Future.
  • Other. Cooking, comedy, anime, exercise, etc.

See also: Japanese television programs, International broadcasting in Japan, Japanese media

See also

External links

el:NHK es:NHK fr:NHK ms:NHK ja:日本放送協会 sv:NHK zh:日本放送協會


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