And last year, Jun Hori, a popular NHK television news announcer, quit after superiors questioned him for more than six hours about a documentary he had made describing nuclear accidents at Fukushima and in the US. It is expected to be shown this month at a small theater in Tokyo.
On Thursday last week, the commentator who more recently severed ties with NHK, Toru Nakakita, said the show on which he had appeared regularly for 20 years had told him not to say anything critical about nuclear power. An NHK spokesman said the demand was made to ensure balanced coverage during the coming election for Tokyo governor, in which nuclear power is an issue.
Hori, who works as a freelance journalist, disagreed on the motive.
“NHK has become a place where it is hard to speak out against authority,” he said. “This is unhealthy for democracy.”