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Ex-BOJ Inaba to become NHK president

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
NHK’s headquarters building

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese public broadcaster NHK said Monday it will appoint former Bank of Japan Executive Director Nobuo Inaba as its new president to succeed Terunobu Maeda, effective on Jan 25.

The broadcaster, called Japan Broadcasting Corp. in English, picked its president from outside the organization for the sixth consecutive time. Maeda, 77, will leave after completing a three-year term.

Among the reasons for Inaba’s appointment, Shunzo Morishita, chairman of NHK’s Board of Governors, which is in charge of the appointment, cited the public nature of the central bank, which it has in common with NHK.

Given his experience of working in a private company, Inaba is capable of organizing people, improving organizational culture and further promoting NHK reform, Morishita told a press conference.

“I hope he will build an NHK that is trusted by the public” toward resolving mounting challenges, including the lowering of subscription fees, Morishita said.

Inaba, 72, became a BOJ executive director in 2004. After quitting the bank in 2008, he joined Ricoh Co. and served as special adviser, executive officer and chairman of the board. He is currently executive adviser at the Ricoh Institute of Sustainability and Business.

Maeda, former group CEO at Mizuho Financial Group Inc., assumed NHK’s presidency in January 2020. He promoted restructuring and took steps including a decision to cut viewer fees by 10% in October 2023.

Some NHK board members said Maeda’s reforms were appreciated but also caused friction within the organization, which Inaba will have to deal with while taking reform steps.