NHK WORLD-JAPAN Blooms in April with Bountiful Month of Singular Events

Special Happenings include Global Premiere of Original Documentary, Bedecked Parade Float and Ongoing Anniversary Observance

WASHINGTON, April 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The arrival of April surely marks the coming of spring across most of the country. For NHK WORLD-JAPAN, it also sets in motion a month of celebration, including: a salute to the season with its annual float in the legendary National Cherry Blossom Parade® in Washington, DC; an original documentary spotlighting the extraordinary life of Emperor Akihito on the eve of his abdication; and a commemoration of the English-language channel‘s first ten years of broadcasting its wholly unique collection of diverse programming.

“This year NHK WORLD-JAPAN is very excited, to celebrate its first ten years of programming in English,” said Keiichi Imamura, Head of NHK WORLD. “April is an especially important month for us as we present the global premiere of an original documentary, Emperor Akihito, a three-part biographical series about the public and private life of Emperor Akihito.”

Imamura continued, “We are also marking the month with our annual participation in Washington, D.C.’s most outstanding outdoor event, the Cherry Blossom Parade, with a float we happily share again with Maryland Public Television (MPT), which distributes our programming in the Washington, DC and Baltimore markets, and across the state of Maryland.”

Japanese Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate from his throne on April 30, 2019. On the three consecutive evenings just prior to this historic event – Saturday, April 27, Sunday, April 28 and Monday, April 29, from 7:10 pm to 8:23 pm EDT – NHK WORLD-JAPAN will air in English across the globe, the new original documentary, Emperor Akihito. The documentary follows the life and reign of the Emperor and the Empress, featuring rare archival footage and first-hand testimonies. This three-part biographical documentary presents an authentic portrayal of the public and private lives of the Emperor and the Empress.

Episode One, Emperor Akihito: Crown Prince of a Defeated Nation, covers the Emperor’s birth in 1933 into a world plagued by war and traces his development from childhood to adulthood, from his early school days and his encounter with an American tutor to his visit to Britain at the age of 19, before stepping into his predestined role in Japan. Episode Two, Emperor Akihito: The Two of Us looks at the deeper significance of the then-Crown Prince’s marriage with commoner Michiko, a union that was celebrated by the entire nation as the “wedding of the century.” And finally, Episode Three, Emperor Akihito: (Title TBD) reveals the years of Emperor Akihito’s reign through the videos and testimonies of his close aide. An active Emperor, the film describes his visits to earthquake-torn areas as well as peace trips to Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Okinawa.  And in this episode, Emperor Akihito answers a key question: How did he make the unprecedented decision to abdicate the throne?

Executive Producers for the series are Daisuke Yamamoto (Episode One), Kaori Kaiho (Episode Two), and Yasuyoshi Fujiwara (Episode Three).

On Saturday, April 13, starting at 10:00 am ET, a float representing NHK WORLD-JAPAN and Maryland Public Television will step out once again in this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade®. The parade is one of Washington D.C.’s most exciting and biggest outdoor events. It is a favorite springtime tradition that winds its way along Constitution Avenue, between 7th and 17th St NW, passing in front of some of the city’s best-known landmarks, from the National Archives to the Washington Monument. Featuring giant balloons, beautifully decorated floats and the best marching bands from across the country, the parade attracts thousands of spectators who line up for hours just to watch the spectacle.

NHK’s mascot DOMO will again be featured as a giant balloon along with the NHK WORLD-JAPAN and Maryland Public Television float which will feature life-size puppets of DOMO for NHK WORLD-JAPAN; and PBS’ NATURE CAT from the PBS series, Nature Cat, airing weekday mornings on MPT. The float will also feature a seven-foot graphic “10,” to mark the ten years that NHK WORLD-JAPAN has been broadcasting in English around the globe.

About NHK WORLD-JAPAN: NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) is Japan’s sole public broadcaster, operating the nation’s largest domestic and international television network. In Japan, NHK broadcasts six TV channels including 4K and 8K along with three radio stations. NHK also transmits two international television channels, NHK WORLD-JAPAN (English, HD, 24/7) and NHK WORLD PREMIUM (Japanese, HD, 24/7), as well as international radio services in eighteen languages.  NHK WORLD-JAPAN reaches over 350 million households in 160 countries and regions via local satellite and cable TV providers. Online live streaming and VOD (video-on-demand) services through the free mobile app and the website, give viewers access to NHK WORLD-JAPAN anywhere and anytime. You can also connect through Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. Presenting an extensive range of Asia-centered programming, NHK WORLD-JAPAN is your window to Japan, Asia, and the rest of the world. For more details, visit

About Japan International Broadcasting, Inc.: Japan International Broadcasting Inc. (JIB), a subsidiary of NHK, is responsible for the worldwide distribution of the HD English language news/lifestyle channel “NHK WORLD-JAPAN,” as well as the HD Japanese language channel “NHK WORLD PREMIUM.” Currently, the two channels are broadcast around the world on three international plus domestic satellites in their respective markets and reach households, hotels and others via DTH, cable, IPTV, and terrestrial broadcast.

About Maryland Public Television (MPT)
Launched in 1969 and headquartered in Owings Mills, MD, Maryland Public Television is a nonprofit, state-licensed public television network and member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).  MPT’s six transmitters cover Maryland plus portions of contiguous states and the District of Columbia.  Frequent winner of regional Emmy® awards, MPT creates local, regional, and national television shows.  Beyond broadcast, MPT’s commitment to professional educators, parents, caregivers, and learners of all ages is delivered through year-round instructional events and the super-website Thinkport, which garners in excess of five million page views annually.  MPT’s community engagement connects viewers with local resources on significant health, education, and public interest topics through year-round outreach events, viewer forums, program screenings, and phone bank call-in opportunities.  For more information visit

Boyle Public Affairs for NHK WORLD-JAPAN
Jim Boyle