Add sexual assault to the list of reasons to dread the NHK collector.

Residents of Japan and long time readers will no doubt be aware of the scourge that are the NHK collectors. These are outsourced mercs who go door to door in pursuit of money to support Japan’s public broadcasting network NHK.

Far beyond the minor inconvenience of salesmen or religious solicitors, these people have resorted to an array of antisocial behavior – including vandalism – to get as many people locked into subscription contracts as possible, and they only seem to get more aggressive as the years go by.

Make no mistake, this is no exaggeration. A study found that almost half of Japanese people don’t even answer their doors anymore, and there even exists a Protect the Nation from NHK Party that runs for office in Tokyo with the sole platform of abolishing this systematic harassment.

▼ And like all political parties in Japan, they give speeches
while wearing white gloves nearby branded vehicles.

And now a 25-year-old employee of N-Links, the company who handles fee collection for NHK, was arrested in Chofu, Tokyo for kissing a woman he was trying to get money from.

At about 8:45 p.m. on 14 November, the suspect paid a visit to the an apartment shared by a woman in her thirties and her mother. The mother was at work so the daughter answered the door. However, at some point during the typical spiel about “illegal” usage of public broadcasting by simply owning a TV, things took a turn for the perverse.

Beginning by lightly tapping her on the head and arm, he then escalated to putting his arms around her waist and kissing her. Reports haven’t said how the incident ended, but afterward the woman told her mother who then reported it to the police.

After getting arrested, the NHK collector admitted to the charges saying, “We were talking and I thought we hit it off, so I kissed her.”

Now it’s probably safe to say NHK collectors have a pretty low standard of what constitutes “hitting it off.” Examples would likely include not shouting obscenities, not slamming door on them, and not spitting.

▼ These two seem to be hitting it off….

But still it would take a special kind of social numbness to think that there is any chance a woman would be turned on by a guy while he was extorting money from her. Netizens agreed saying:

“He’s out!”
“Just because someone’s friendly you kiss them? Idiot.”
“That’s why you never answer the door.”
“I wish I could say I expected better of NHK collectors, but…”
“Anytime I see NHK in a headline, I know something terrible happened.”
“NHK’s crime rate seems higher than the national average.”

Generally I’m in favor of public broadcasting, and frankly NHK does have some really good shows that are informative and educational. They’ve even hired some of RocketNews24’s favorite figures over the years like DJ Misoshiru & MC Gohan, Kanna Hashimoto, and Atsugiri Jason.

However, with the widespread harassment and now sexual assaults, it might be worth auditing whether the organization is doing more harm than good to Japan and perhaps just give the whole system a reboot.

Source: Huffington Post Japan, Sankei News, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Wikipedia/Syced