Supreme Court rules NHK fee system constitutional
NHK -- Dec 07
Japan's Supreme Court has ruled for the first time that an article in the country's Broadcast Law that obliges TV owners to sign receiving contracts with NHK does not violate the Constitution.

NHK, or the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, is Japan's public broadcaster and funded through receiving fees paid by households and businesses with a TV set.

The Broadcast Law requires anyone with TV receiving equipment to have a contract with NHK.

NHK filed a lawsuit against a Tokyo man who had repeatedly rejected requests to sign such a contract and pay the fee.

At the Supreme Court Grand Bench on Wednesday, presiding justice Itsuro Terada said the fee system was adopted to supplement the public's right to know, based on the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.

The justice added that receiving contracts take effect when such court rulings are finalized, and that contractors must pay back fees starting from when their TV equipment was installed.

テレビを設置したらNHKの受信料の支払い義務が生じるとした放送法の規定が憲法に違反しているかなどが争われた裁判で、最高裁は合憲とする初めての判断を示しました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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