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NHK board topper quits amid controversy

Komaru fumbles selection of pubcaster's prexy

Tokyo — Shigehiro Komaru, the chairman of pubcaster NHK’s board of governors, resigned Tuesday to take responsibility for the widely criticized selection process for the web’s new prexy.

The board, led by Komaru, had asked former Keio U. head Yuichiro Anzai to take over from outgoing prexy Shigeo Fukuchi.

But on Jan. 11, with only two weeks to go until his ascension, Anzai turned down the job, alleging that Komaru had asked him to withdraw based on reports that he had made excessive demands regarding personal expenses and living quarters.

Anzai dismissed the reports as slanderous rumors and said he could not work with the board a climate of distrust.

On Jan. 14 the board appointed former JR Central railway prexy Masayuki Matsumoto to the top post, but was criticized for a hasty, slapdash vetting process. Matsumoto took over as NHK prexy on Monday.

At a presser announcing his resignation, Komaru said, “I’m happy that we have been able to select a wonderful new president. It’s true that it took time to do so, but now we’ve been able to put a period on this process…as well as to this confusion.”