REC maintains a database of many AM, FM and digital TV transmitters in Japan. To search these stations, visit FCCdata.org and click on the Japan/日本 header and you will be brought to the Japan text entry. You can search for stations by call sign or by place name.
Searching by Call Sign
Call signs for all broadcast stations in Japan begin with JO and all have 4 letters. FM callsigns will have a -FM suffix and television stations will have a -DTV suffix.
20 watt (TPO) low power community stations will have the call sign "JOZZ" followed by a single digit to indicate the area of Japan the station is located followed by a sequential two letter assignment. For example, JOZZ3AX.
Entering a partial call sign (at least 3 characters) will return a list of stations. If you want a full list of all community stations, search for JOZZ.
If you enter a call sign that is used in more than one service, you will be given a list of the services that the broadcaster operates. For example, many AM broadcast stations also own television stations. Stations operated by the national public broadcaster NHK will have AM, FM and TV operations under the same call sign with FM and TV having suffixes to their call sign.
Most "full-power" broadcasters as well as some community stations operate more than one transmitter that area associated with the call sign. When you enter a call sign, you will be brought to a screen that shows the name of the licensee and a list of the transmitters that are associated with that call sign. A map to the right will show up to 10 of the locations of the transmitters. Transmitter #1 is usually the "key" station. Some AM broadcasters have separate transmitters under different call letters. Once you bring up the individual transmitter record, it will indicate whether the station if there is a "key" AM station under a different call sign.
Please note that some AM stations also operate FM relay stations in places such as the Ryukyu and Izu Island chains where operating AM stations would be impractical. In addition, Japan has recently opened 90 to 95 MHz which gives the ability for AM stations to operate a "complementary" FM signal. These FM services operated by the AM licensee will show in FCCdata under the AM call sign (without a suffix).
Searching by Place Name
Place names in Japan are a heirarchal structure similar to the USA except that it goes in reverse order. For example:
House number -> Street -> City -> State -> ZIP Code
ex: 123 Main Street, Anytown, CA 91234
Post Code -> Prefecture/Metro (ken, to, fu) -> County (gun, some areas) -> City/Town/Village (shi, cho, mura) -> Ward (ku, some areas) -> Neighborhood -> Building number
ex: 〒107-8420 Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Akaska 1-chome, 10-5
〒107-8420 東京都港区 赤坂１丁目１０−５
FCCdata.org accepts place names at the city, village, town and ward levels.
Please note that because of how place names are romanized (converted to the A to Z alphabet), some place names may not always show as you may think (for example, if you are looking for a ward named "Chuo", it will show as "Chuou"). You can use a partial entry of at least 3 characters if you are not sure.
The pull down to the left of the place name entry allows for the entry of place name using Japanese text. Selecting 漢字 allows you to enter the place name in kanji and selecting かな allows you to enter the place name in hiragana. Leave this pull down blank if you wish to enter the place name in romaji (A to Z letters).
When entering the place name using romaji, do not enter the suffix indicating the place type (e.g. "-ku" for wards, "-shi" for cities, etc.). When entering using kanji or kana, entering the place name type is acceptable but not required (e.g. 渋谷区, 福岡市, さっぽろし etc.) . When entering place names, only enter one level. For example, if you want to search Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture, you only need to enter "Yokosuka" or 横須賀 or よこすか.
After you enter the place name, you will be given a screen with potential combinations. Sometimes, a place name (especially if it is a ward) may be duplicated in multiple places. To assure that you are getting to the right location, the prefecture will be shown along with any heirarchal place names between what you entered in the highest level. For example, if we enter CHUO because you are looking for the Chuo ward in Kobe city, Hyogo prefecture, you will receive the following result:
In the second column, you will see the heirarchy for each place. The last entry will show the prefecture (ken), area (fu) or metropolis (to) the place name is ultimately located in. Hokkaido is an exception. It will show without a suffix.
Therefore, in this case, you would click on the CHUOU-KU that is located in KOBE-SHI HYOGO-KEN.
Why won't Tokyo work?
If you enter "Tokyo" in the place name, it will not come up. This is because Tokyo is a metropolis and is only a top level place name like a prefecture. This is similar to Washington, DC in the USA not being in a state. If you want to look at Tokyo, you may enter a ward name (Shibuya, Minato, etc.) in order to view a list for the area.
For Tokyo's dialscape, CLICK HERE for Chuo ward in Tokyo. (opens a new window)
Are AFN stations listed?
American Forces Network stations are AM stations (and in one case FM) located on or near military bases in Yokota, Iwakuni, Sasebo, Misawa and Okinawa. To look for these facilities, use the place name search for those respective areas or here are links to each facility:
- Tokyo (Yokota/Yokosuka) - Eagle 810
- Misawa - The Source 1575
- Iwakuni - AFN Iwakuni 1575
- Sasebo - Eagle Radio 1575
- Okinawa (Kadena) - Surf 648
- Okinawa (Kadena) - Wave 89.1 FM
About this database
At this time, only facilties with a transmitter power output of 1 watt or greater are listed. Powers shown for most facilities are only transmitter power output. Antenna gain would mean that their effective radiated power (ERP) will be considerably more. Where ERP is available, it will be shown in the transmitter record.
Our data sources did not include any information on directional antennas. Therefore, we will assume that all stations in the database are non-directional. Sometimes, you may need to look at the target area of a particular station to see where it is intended to serve.
FM records do include a contour map. This shows the 54 dBu F(50, 50) contour to show approximate coverage. This is not an official coverage map recognized by the MIC (Japan's FCC). Contour maps assume that unless we have specified that the transmitter is on a roof top, the radiation center of the antenna is 30 meters above ground level. For roof tops, we are assuing 6 meters above the roof line. Output power is based on transmitter power output unless we specifically have ERP data. Text under the contour map will show what height and power are being assumed. Terrain data is based on 1-second GLOBE data.
The tables in this database were manually constructed by REC using various sources including: