Recently the NHK News reported the following:
On the 8th the NHK announced that the broadcasting of the 62nd New Year's Eve song show to be performed on New Year's Eve would begin at 7:15 p.m. The 4 hours and a half broadcasting(with a discontinuation of 5 minutes because of the news reporting) up to 11:45 would, along with the 60th Commemoration convention (2009) became the longest broadcasting.
The reason was that many voices that demanded a pop music show etc. were sent out from the disaster victims of the East Japan great earthquake. Chairman Masayuki Matsumoto said, "Facing towards 2012, I would like to make it a program that sings about the hope for a bright tomorrow." Singer's participation and music items etc. were not yet decided.
Regarding the broadcasting starting time of this Red and White Singing Contest, it was set at 7.20 pm staring from the 56th Round in 2005, which was the 60th Anniversary of the War ending, until the 59th Round (2008); the 61st Round (2010) returned to the 7:30 as before.
It is understandable that many Japanese are wishing for a better to-morrow in 2012.