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NHK to appoint outsider again as president to lead broadcaster

Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) will continue its recent practice of selecting a president from outside the broadcaster with the appointment of Nobuo Inaba, a former executive director of the Bank of Japan, according to multiple sources.

The company’s Board of Governors, the decision-making body for NHK’s management and operations, decided on Dec. 5 to appoint Inaba to succeed outgoing President Terunobu Maeda, the sources said.

The 77-year-old Maeda’s term will expire in January.

Inaba will be NHK’s sixth consecutive president who is appointed to the role from outside the corporation.

The first of the six such presidents was Shigeo Fukuchi, who became the public broadcaster’s president in 2008 after working as an adviser for Asahi Breweries Ltd.

He replaced Genichi Hashimoto, who became NHK’s president after working as the company’s managing director. Hashimoto resigned from his post to take responsibility for an insider-trading scandal involving staff at the media group.

Since then, the broadcaster has appointed outsiders as its president starting with Fukuchi.

Such presidents had worked for companies including a trading house or a company in the Japan Railways Group.

Maeda, a former president of Mizuho Financial Group, said he had no desire to continue as NHK president at a news conference on Dec. 1.

“I would like someone younger who will help guide the next generation to become the new president,” he said.

Inaba, 72, is from Shizuoka Prefecture. After graduating from the faculty of economics at the University of Tokyo in 1974, he started working for the BOJ, where he assumed multiple positions including head of the information system services department and the bank’s supervision department.

He was a BOJ executive director between 2004 and 2008, during which time he was responsible for areas such as financial policies.

His post-BOJ positions included a special adviser at Ricoh Co., as well as a head and a senior managing executive officer at the company’s economy and social research center. He was a director at the center until June.

His term as NHK’s president will be three years from Jan. 25.

The NHK Board of Governors launched a panel in July to discuss the selection of the next president.

The panel’s members agreed at a meeting on the morning of Dec. 5 to request the appointment of Inaba as a successor to Maeda.

A meeting of the Board of Governors was held on the afternoon of the same day to make a formal decision on the appointment. Asahi Shimbun

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