Fired Ex-NHK Reporter Spent ¥7.89 Mln on 410 Occasions for Improper Purposes, Claiming to Be Gathering News

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
NHK Broadcasting Center in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo

In connection with improper expense claims by a former NHK employee, the former reporter, dismissed on disciplinary grounds, had spent ¥7.89 million on 410 occasions on private dining and for other purposes, NHK announced Tuesday.

The former reporter was working in the social news department, and most of the money was spent on matters unrelated to gathering news, such as eating with friends and colleagues. The former reporter is said to have indicated their intention to repay the full amount.

This incident prompted NHK to conduct a wide-ranging investigation into past reimbursements for expenses for reporting-related costs involving wining and dining. The probe revealed two other people were found to have committed similar misconduct.

According to the NHK’s investigation report, the former reporter used handwritten receipts and printed receipts with no space to write detailed information.

The other two had eaten and drunk for news-gathering purposes, but they filed reimbursement requests with false information, such as the participants’ names were different from the actual ones and the number of participants was one more than the actual number.

In response to these incidents, NHK has stated that it will “ensure basic ethics in news gathering based on the basic premise that subscription fees, which are public funds, are being used.