« 日銀短観 消費増税の反動どう乗り切る | トップページ | 香山リカのココロの万華鏡:復興っていったい何? /東京 »

2014年4月 5日 (土)

(社説)NHK経営委 監督責任を果たせ

April 04, 2014
EDITORIAL: Passage of NHK budget should not let Momii off the hook
(社説)NHK経営委 監督責任を果たせ

During Japan Broadcasting Corp.’s (NHK) entrance ceremony for new recruits on April 1, President Katsuto Momii said, “An act of just one NHK employee could cause the public broadcaster to lose public trust altogether.” He also said, “The influence your acts have on NHK and Japanese society or the weight of the responsibilities you have to shoulder for your acts are far greater now than they were until yesterday.”

Momii was apparently trying to make the new employees aware of the serious responsibility of their jobs at NHK.

Since assuming his current post in January, however, Momii himself has said and done many things that have called into question his awareness of the responsibility of his job as NHK chief. We wonder how his remarks at the entrance ceremony sounded to NHK employees and viewers.

At the end of March, the Diet approved NHK’s budget plan for fiscal 2014.

NHK’s Board of Governors, which appointed Momii as president, argued that Diet approval of the budget plan would indicate that Momii had offered convincing explanations to viewers about his controversial remarks and actions.

But Momii’s performance at the Diet was far from being helpful in winning back the confidence of viewers.

At his inaugural news conference in late January, Momii made remarks that sounded like a total endorsement of the government’s policies. Regarding NHK’s international broadcasts that touch upon territorial issues, Momii said, “When the government is saying ‘right,’ we cannot say ‘left.’” He also said about the much-criticized state secrets protection law, “It is useless to argue about it now that it has already passed the Diet.”

During a subsequent Diet session, Momii apologized for his comments, which cast doubt on NHK’s political neutrality. “I carelessly expressed my personal views at the news conference,” he said. On other issues, however, Momii only repeatedly said, as if mechanically reading from a note, “I will do (my duty) according to the Broadcast Law.” He failed to convince the public that he had done sincere soul-searching on his questionable acts.

During Diet sessions, lawmakers repeatedly urged Momii to return the undated letters of resignation he had forced all members of NHK’s Executive Board to submit. Momii’s move has been criticized by the business community as a heavy-handed management method. But he refused to return the letters to the members, saying only, “I will not abuse my power on personnel affairs.”

Forcing employees to submit letters of resignation is in itself an intimidating act that could cause the people to cower. Momii refused to change his ways even after being rebuked. There are legitimate concerns about whether the broadcaster, under his leadership, can create programs in an active manner and protect the health of journalism within the organization.

It is assumed that NHK’s budget, which is mainly financed by viewing fees paid by a broad range of people, should in principle be approved by the Diet with support from both the ruling and opposition parties. This time around, however, six opposition parties voted against the budget plan, causing a lack of unanimity on the NHK budget within the Diet for the first time in eight years.

A supplementary resolution also called on NHK to make efforts to regain public confidence by pointing out that some words and deeds of senior executives have been severely criticized. This is certainly an extraordinary manner for the approval of NHK’s budget plan in the Diet.

The Board of Governors has so far twice admonished Momii to mend his ways. It has also issued a statement saying it regrets the fact that it had to twice admonish the president. However, it is doubtful whether Momii has taken seriously what the Board of Governors told him.

The Board of Governors is a supervisory body with the power to dismiss the president. It should adopt a tough stance toward Momii’s inappropriate behavior and compel him to return the letters of resignation.  会長の罷免(ひめん)権を持つ監督機関である経営委は、辞表を返還させ、厳しく向き合うべきだ。

The board will be accused of failing to carry out its duties if it loosens its efforts to rein in the president out of concerns about being held accountable for appointing him to the post.

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 4


« 日銀短観 消費増税の反動どう乗り切る | トップページ | 香山リカのココロの万華鏡:復興っていったい何? /東京 »





« 日銀短観 消費増税の反動どう乗り切る | トップページ | 香山リカのココロの万華鏡:復興っていったい何? /東京 »