Most people wonder why they still bother charging any fee at all.

Everyday life comes with everyday villains. Perhaps, if you live in America, it’s the humble telemarketer spamming you with calls about your vehicle insurance. Those who live in the UK might feel a similar ichor towards the station hands who patrol train carriages, trying to catch you without a ticket. And Japan has a clear candidate for their scorn, too: the guy who knocks on your door trying to get you to pay the NHK TV license fee.

It’s a visit no one looks forward to, and there’s even been the formation of a group called the Protect the Nation from NHK Party Now, it sounds like the state-funded television service might actually be willing to budge on their hefty license fee. They agreed to a “substantial cut” from their current monthly fee of around 2,170 yen (US$20.90), and plan to cover it by using around 70 billion yen from their revenue reserves, surplus funds, and money saved by downsizing.

This cut will be around 10 percent, or roughly 300 yen a month.

The cut is scheduled to go into effect sometime in 2023, and NHK officials refused to confirm if this discount is a temporary or permanent measure. Regardless, those online had plenty to say about the fee reduction, its efficacy, and whether or not they planned to pay.

▼ “NHK will reduce the license fee by 2023. Meanwhile, Covid-19 has upped the rate of accommodation industry bankruptcies by 57 percent in 2020.

“Wow, so the NHK budget is something like 700 billion yen? That’s as much as some countries spend on their defense budgets.”
“If they’re making it cheaper, does this mean the pushy collection guys will get even more intense?”
“They should cut it down to 10 percent of its original cost. I’m willing to compromise, though. Make it so I can pay with one coin [i.e. 500 yen or less] and it’s a deal.”
“So they’re gonna collect 90 percent of what I pay up to now? You may as well save the effort of collecting my money and just set the fee to ‘zero’.”

One optimistic commenter added, “I’m sure that decreasing the price will mean more people are likely to pay it.” However, many more commenters just recommended installing a blocker to immunize yourself from the eternal plague of NHK callers. Since the plan has until 2023 to take root, we’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out.

Source: Livedoor News/Yomiuri Shimbun via My Game News Flash, Twitter/@livedoornews
Top image: Pakutaso

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