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NHK Posts Human Rights Guidelines for Kōhaku Song Contest

Image via NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen’s X/Twitter account

The streak of odd firsts for NHK‘s 74th Kōhaku Uta Gassen (“Red and White Song Contest”) — Japan’s most-watched music television program — continues, as the program posted “guidelines for respecting human rights for performers” on its website for the first time.

On November 13, NHK revealed the lineup of artists for this year’s program, and the list did not include any former Johnny’s (now Smile Up) artists. A first in 44 years since 1979.

NHK previously stated in September that it will “not make new requests to entertainers from … [the agency] to perform in its programs for the time being” in response to the Johnny Kitagawa sexual abuse scandal.

Still seemingly related to the scandal, NHK posted the following guidelines:

  • We respect human rights and individuality, and aim to create an orderly production venue where everyone can demonstrate their full ability in every phase of content production. We prohibit sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of performers, and do not tolerate malicious harassment or discriminatory or offensive behavior.

  • We do not tolerate discrimination based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, disability, political ideology, sex, age, or gender for any reason at the production venue.

  • We do not tolerate labor practices that violate human rights, such as forced labor.

  • We respect the human rights of children, and do not tolerate child labor or child abuse. Regarding minor performers, we will adhere to related laws and regulations such as the Labor Standards Act.

  • We will consider the physical and mental health of each performer and aim to ensure a safe and secure environment.

  • All NHK executives will respect the human rights of performers. We request that talent agencies and other clients related to performers agree to these guidelines.

The yearly New Year’s Eve contest pits two teams of female singers (the red team) and male singers (the white team) against each other. This year’s program will take place on December 31 at 7: 20 p.m. JST. The theme this year is “Borderless: Koete Tsunagaru Ōmisoka” (Borderless: New Year’s Eve Connected Beyond Borders).

Source: NHK via Hachima Kiko



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