In a widely expected move, Katsuji Ebisawa, president of Japanese public broadcaster NHK, has stepped down from his post after a series of embezzlement scandals involving NHK employees, allegations of

(The Hollywood Reporter) -- In a widely expected move, Katsuji Ebisawa, president of Japanese public broadcaster NHK, has stepped down from his post after a series of embezzlement scandals involving NHK employees, allegations of ruling-party politicians meddling in editorial decisions and a rising tide of Japanese refusing to pay the broadcast-license fees that are the network's financial lifeline.

He will be replaced by Genichi Hashimoto for a three-year term, NHK said Jan. 26.

Hashimoto was general managing director and executive director-general for engineering. Ebisawa said in a news conference Jan. 25 that he is resigning to take responsibility for the scandals and the ensuing rise in viewers refusing to pay their broadcast licenses in protest, but he maintained that he was "able to lay the groundwork for NHK's reforms toward its revitalization" during his tenure, which began 1997.