Japan Broadcasting to cut 1,200 jobs

Japan Broadcasting Corp is finalizing plans to cut its workforce by about 1,200 over a three-year period from fiscal 2006 due to a higher-than-expected rise in the number of viewers refusing to pay fees, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun has reported.

The reduction will be the largest since the public broadcaster, popularly known as NHK, was established in 1926 and account for roughly 10 per cent of NHK's total workforce, the report said.

NHK anticipated Y672.4 billion ($A8.04 billion) in operating revenue under its fiscal 2005 budget and business plan, including Y647.8 billion ($A7.75 billion) from subscribers assuming that delinquent viewers would number no more than 470,000, the report said.

But the number of viewers refusing to pay fees shot up to 1.17 million as of July 31, as the broadcaster struggled to cope with a series of scandals involving its employees, such as embezzlement.