Sunday, November 21, 2010

NHK and Public TV are Criminal Enterprises - Don't Pay NHK

One can only guess what the government wonks are thinking about at NHK as to how to retain revenues but one thing is certain; they are not going to let us (the public) off easily. (Even though well over 50% of NHK employees do not pay the monthly fee! See below!)

As of today, NHK charges the public (that means everybody! NHK employees included) for just having a TV set even if they don't watch NHK. The obvious solution? I threw away my TV set. No TV? No charge. It's simple.

But, even after I threw my TV away, the NHK people came to my house and tried to collect fees. When I told them that I do not even own a TV set, they didn't believe me. One collector asked, "If you don't have a TV, then why do you have an antenna?"

I bought my house used and so there was an antenna on top of the house. Since I do not want to fight with these people, I paid for a house reform company to remove the antenna. Now, NHK collectors no longer bother me.

But now, these laughable crooks are considering charging everyone (the same as a tax) whether you own a TV or not. 

The headlines at News On Japan read: Will NHK's fee system survive? / Broadcaster looks to adapt as Net viewing rapidly changes the game

Facing a changing television environment due to the growing popularity of online programming and other factors, NHK launched a review of its viewing fee system last month through an expert panel. Is the long-standing belief that "Once you have a TV set, you have to start paying NHK," about to be changed? The panel, an advisory body to NHK President Shigeo Fukuchi, comprises eight specialists, including experts on law and economics. It will make recommendations on any necessary changes to the viewing fee system when TV broadcasts are fully digitized next July. The panel will work until around June next year, and the results of its discussions will be reflected in NHK's management plan for fiscal 2012 to 2014.

What the hell!? These advisors will recommend to the president of NHK for changes to the pay system and then the management of NHK thinks they have the power to decide to levy a tax on the Japanese public? Ha! There's no way in the world that this could be legal.

The president of NHK and their attorneys have no legal standing whatsoever to levy a tax on the public. 

Under current law, it says that if you don't pay the fees for owning a TV to NHK, you can be penalized. The problem with the law is that it doesn't specify what those penalties are. So if you are reading this, then I strongly suggest that you stop paying NHK fees immediately. Now, seeing as to how this was decided, it is obvious as to why there are no penalties stated in Japanese law: it is illegal to do so.

The article at Yomiuri continues:

NHK is paying close attention to reforms under way in Germany. As in Japan, a German public broadcaster collects viewing fees based on TV ownership.

To address the issues raised by the spread of the Internet, the German government is likely to revise its broadcast law so fees are levied from the public whether or not they own TVs, with the goal of implementing the new system in 2013.

The reform is based on the idea that viewing fees for public broadcasters should be shouldered equally among members of the public. The fee will be the same for every household, while it will vary depending on payroll size for businesses.

I do not watch TV and have no plan to. I will refuse to pay any sort of levied taxes for public TV too. I suggest that you consider doing the same.

This is not the Soviet Union. If public TV decides to broadcast without commercials then that is their choice. I didn't decide that policy and so I will not pay for it. The government forcing us to pay for public TV is illegal and a criminal act. 

I strongly suggest that you inform your family and friends about this and get ready to resist this attempt to increase our taxes without public debate.

As is pointed out above; the law doesn't state what the penalties are for non-payment of NHK fees. If you read between the lines of the Yomiuri article, it is obvious why there are no financial penalties for non-payment of NHK fees; those fees fall under "users fees" under the law and, if you do not want to pay them, you do not have to. Just do not use the service.

It is exactly the same as a users fee on the highway: You don't have to pay them; use another road.
The above is a comic that appeared in several major Japanese publications after it was reported that NHK employees themselves were not paying the fees.

Translation of the comic (from top left then down): 
1) The manager at NHK asks the collector "What percentage of homes did you collect NHK fees from?"
2) The collector hands the mgr. the report. The manager reads it and says, "Hmmm, you only got 71% of the houses paying. I hope you could get 80% payment!"
3) The manager says, "By the way, do you have the report on what percentage of NHK employees are paying?" 
4) The manager gets the report and says, "52% of NHK employees are paying the fees? Good work! Excellent results!"

With this blog, I hereby grant my permission to NHK and any other public broadcaster to start broadcasting TV commercials to pay for their services. We the public are taxed too much as it is. I refuse to pay another tax for this sort of nonsense.

I will write my intention to refuse payment - along with granting my permission to air TV commercials - to NHK.

This blog is my public statement that I will refuse to pay any sort of taxation for public TV and, if forced to do so or threatened with any sort of legal actions or penalties, I will seriously consider a class action suit and sue NHK if they try to pull this stunt (not that I would be the only one). If NHK collectors come to my house and threaten me or my family (as they have do so in the past) I will call the police.

Be forewarned NHK collector: if you insist upon coming to my house for collection, then I will consider you to be trespassing and will call the police.

Either way, a flat tax to everyone whether or not they watch TV is completely illegal. Don't be railroaded into paying it.

Consider: Will the sight-impaired be taxed for this? Of course not. Nor should they. 

Under the law of Japan, taxation must be levied equally (unless it is a user's tax such as highway tolls as shown above). Considering the legal ramifications of that point then it is obvious that a tax on everyone for public TV is illegal. If we are to start changing the rules for public TV - under the weak auspices that they are a "public service" and therefore taxable -like something akin to health insurance then this country is surely in more trouble than our public debt at 200% of GDP would indicate.


Anonymous said...

NHK already collects from everyone who uses cable so there are some people who can't avoid it as it's embedded in the monthly cable fees...

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Thanks Anonymous,

Well the solution here is obvious. The free market offers competition and, while I recommend ditching TV all together, CS satellite does not include NHK fees.

Change your cable company or get satellite.

Anonymous said...

NHK comes to the door. I smile like a chesire cat. Let's try this in English shall we?

Me: Hello.
NHK:Do you have a TV?
NHK:(angrily)YOU MUST PAY!!
Me: (Laughing)

Dejected NHK sales duo walks away.

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