A foreigner living in Japan for almost a decade is still clueless about the legal obligations related to the payment of NHK fees.
“I’ve been here 8 years and still don’t get it,” says 8-years-a-gaijin Tony Harris while looking out over a small lake.
Locals and other foreigners have told Harris on multiple occasions he is obliged to pay NHK fees if he has a television.
Others have said if the NHK people don’t “catch you” in your home then you don’t legally have to pay.
“Then there was that recent court case where someone was fined for not paying NHK fees because he owned a mobile phone – he didn’t even have a TV,” said Harris while gesturing “I don’t know” by shrugging his shoulders like a proper gaijin.
Harris says he doesn’t have time to research the law.
“I could be using that time to research yet another izakaya.”
Harris could find out the law within an hour but will forever be anxious in his own home, knowing someone could knock on the door at any moment.