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【NHKが脱原発テーマを拒否、教授降板】

January 31, 2014

2014.1.31(金)

 

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Scholar quits NHK over nuclear power hush-up

JAN 30, 2014 Japan Times

 

 

A noted professor who regularly provides commentary on an NHK AM radio show has resigned from the program in protest over the public broadcaster’s demand that nuclear power not be discussed until after the Feb. 9 Tokyo gubernatorial election.

Toru Nakakita, a professor of economics at Toyo University in Tokyo, said the director of the “Radio 1” morning news program told him Wednesday to change the subject of his commentary, after he had submitted an outline for a segment to air the following day.

The segment, “Business Tenbo” (“Business Outlook”), which is broadcast every weekday morning, features guest commentary from academics in the fields of business and economics. For the Thursday morning edition, Nakakita was planning to talk about the rising operating costs of nuclear power worldwide, in light of a recent surge in insurance premiums and safety costs. He was also intending to discuss the fact that in Japan the cost of decommissioning nuclear plants is not adequately reflected on the utilities’ balance sheets.

After reviewing his draft, the director of the news program told him to wait until after the election, on grounds his comments “would affect the voting behavior” of the listeners, Nakakita quoted the NHK director as saying.

An official in NHK’s public relations department acknowledged the demand had been made. The public TV and radio network, the official said, has a responsibility to “ensure fairness by introducing both sides of the issues on a program-to-program or a series-to-series basis.”

The official said Nakakita’s commentary couldn’t be aired because NHK had determined it wasn’t possible to book another expert with an opposing view during Thursday’s segment, or on the same program before the end of the election campaign.

“Nuclear power is one of the issues in the Tokyo gubernatorial election, and we need to be especially careful about ensuring fairness,” the official said. “It could have been possible to feature another expert with a different viewpoint soon before or after (Nakakita’s) appearance, but because we received his draft the day before the scheduled broadcast, and because we have limited editions of the program during the campaign period, we decided it would be difficult to air a contrasting view.”

“Economists deal in all things in nature,” Nakakita told The Japan Times.

“The director kept insisting that people vote based on ‘impressions.’ But I wonder if it’s OK to say we can talk about (contentious issues) at length only after the election. What if I had talked about welfare? Wouldn’t that have affected the voting behavior?

“The media should choose various issues especially during the campaign,” he added. “If they don’t, voters will go to the polls with no information to base their judgments on. Isn’t it the mission of the news organizations to have the guts to give more information to the public?” he said.

Nuclear power came to the fore of the gubernatorial race when former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, a staunch opponent of nuclear power, announced his candidacy.

Last week, Peter Barakan, a freelance radio show host, revealed in his morning music and news program on InterFM that he had been pressured by “two broadcasting stations” not to touch on nuclear power issues until after Feb. 9. He didn’t identify the stations, but he works for NHK FM Radio and NHK World, as well as other private TV and radio stations.

 

 

NHK 自局の番組で脱原発の教授コメントを拒否 コーナー休止

2014.1.30 

 

 

 NHKラジオ第1放送の午前5~8時の「ラジオあさいちばん」という番組の「ビジネス展望」のコーナーでコメントする予定だった東洋大の中北徹教授(62)が

「原発事故のリスクをゼロにできるのは原発を止めること」

「原発の稼働コストが上昇し、石炭や石油による発電コストと差が縮小している」

「事故の発生確率を減らしても、1件当たりの損害額が巨額になる」

などとのコメントを経済学者の観点から話すとディレクターに伝えたところ、担当ディレクターから

「東京都知事選の期間中はやめてほしい」

と難色を示され、テーマの変更を求められたことがわかりました。

  中北教授によると、NHKの担当ディレクターは「絶対にやめてほしい」と言い、中北教授は「趣旨を変えることはできない」などと拒否したということです。

 当然、中北教授は同日朝の出演を拒否し、20年間出演してきた番組を降板したということです。

選挙中は争点が多岐にわたるのは当然で、すべての争点をすべての選挙期間中に触れないなんてことはできません。完全に脱原発の意見だから封殺された、自公政権にとって都合の悪い意見だから許されなかったとみるべきです。

 NHKはここまで腐ったかという一つの見本だと思います。会長の辞任だけではなく、受信料の強制徴収を許さない法改正を。

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