$%#@*! NHK

My building had a water maintenance work yesterday, and so I had to be home around 13:00 to 14:00 to let the workers in.  When the doorbell rang around 12:30, I went to answer the door and, thinking that the maintenance staff had come early, didn’t bother to check the peephole.

Instead of the workers, there was a very serious looking man, possibly around my age or a little older, standing there with a briefcase and clipboard in hand, and a large electronic device hanging from his neck.  He immediately flashed a badge in front of me, which proclaimed him to be from NHK.  I knew what he was there for – I’ve been in Japan long enough to know that he wanted me to pay a TV fee.

According to Wikipedia, there is a mandatory fee that everyone who owns a TV needs to pay.  I find this ambiguous regulation totally ridiculous though – one has to pay what is essentially a tax, simply because one owns a TV?  However, I’ve also heard from everyone I’ve spoken to that one doesn’t need to pay – certainly no-one I know does.

What really bugs me though, is that I don’t watch Japanese TV.  I don’t understand the language!!  Yet, even though I tried to convey this to the NHK “money collector”, he still kept pressing me to fill out a form with my name, address, telephone number, AND bank account information.

Needless to say, I resisted, saying no, I didn’t want to do it.  He tried to make me understand that it was a “rule”, and mandatory.  Not having any English pamphlets on him, he even went so far as to dig out a Chinese language pamphlet he had in his briefcase to show me because it had 1 (one) English phrase on it – “Broaden your horizons with NHK”.

Yeah.  Right.

It ended with him asking if I would be around next Sunday, so that he could bring an English language pamphlet.  I said, maybe and left it at that.  Frankly, I don’t have any intention of paying this ridiculous fee.  If I actually watched NHK, I might feel more inclined to do so, but given the way things are now… no.  Plus I don’t see why NHK has to be such a bully about it when other channels stations such as Tokyo TV, Fuji TV, etc, also all broadcast for free but don’t come knocking on people’s doors to get them to pay.

I’m just going to have to remember to use the peephole.


  • Tet
    August 25, 2009 - 10:17 | Permalink

    Heh, Im not really makes sure what makes them so ‘eligible’ to be allowed to force people to pay like that?

    I do have to admit though, their Pitakuri Switch is rather addicting XD


  • August 25, 2009 - 15:25 | Permalink

    Hmmm, don’t quite get this: “other channels stations such as Tokyo TV, Fuji TV, etc, also all broadcast for free”. If everyone’s broadcasting for free, why’s there any fee?

  • August 25, 2009 - 18:12 | Permalink

    I don’t know… they’re all public stations, and I don’t know how they expect to “police” people, or how they can force people to pay. But it’s irritating to have them come by and keep insisting that you should pay!

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