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Media of Japan

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Title: Media of Japan  
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Media of Japan

The communications media of Japan include numerous television and radio networks as well as newspapers and magazines in Japan. For the most part, television networks were established based on the capital contribution from existing radio networks at that time. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the capital relationship between the media (such as the relationship between newspaper, radio and TV networks).

For the most part, variety shows, serial dramas, and news constitute a large percentage of Japanese evening shows. Western movies are also shown, many with a subchannel for English.

There are all-English television channels on cable and satellite (with Japanese subtitles).


  • TV networks 1
  • Radio networks 2
    • AM radio 2.1
    • FM radio 2.2
    • See also 2.3
  • Magazines 3
    • Weekly magazines 3.1
    • Monthly magazines 3.2
    • See also 3.3
  • Newspapers 4
    • National papers 4.1
    • Regional papers 4.2
    • Specialty papers 4.3
    • Bias in Japanese newspapers 4.4
  • Key stations: television and radio 5
    • Outline 5.1
      • Sub-key stations 5.1.1
    • List of key stations 5.2
  • Advertising agencies 6
  • Wire services 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10
  • External links 11

TV networks

There are 6 nationwide television networks, as follows:

  1. NHK (日本放送協会 Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai). NHK is a Japanese public service broadcaster. The company is financed through "viewer fees," similar to the licence fee system used in the UK to fund the BBC. NHK deliberately maintains neutral reportings as a public broadcast station, even refuse to mention commodity brand names.[1] NHK has 2 terrestrial TV channels, unlike the other TV networks (in the Tokyo region—channel 1 ("Sōgō" (General)) and channel 3 ("Kyoiku" (Education)).
  2. Nippon Television Network System (NNS)/Nippon News Network (NNN) headed by Nippon Television (日本テレビ放送網/日テレ Nihon-Terebi/Nittere; NTV). In the Tokyo region, channel 4. Affiliated with the Yomiuri Shimbun.
  3. TBS Networks/Japan News Network (JNN) headed by TBS (東京放送 Tōkyō Hōsō, Tokyo Broadcasting System). In the Tokyo region, channel 6. Affiliated with the Mainichi Shimbun.
  4. Fuji Network System (FNS)/Fuji News Network (FNN) headed by Fuji Television (フジテレビジョン; Fuji TV). Affiliated with the Sankei Shimbun. In the Tokyo region, channel 8.
  5. TV Asahi Network/All-Nippon News Network (ANN) headed by TV asahi (テレビ朝日). Affiliated with the Asahi Shimbun. In the Tokyo region, channel 10.
  6. TV Tokyo Network (TXN) headed by TV TOKYO (テレビ東京). Has ties with the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper. In the Tokyo region, channel 12.

Radio networks

AM radio

  1. NHK Radio 1, NHK Radio 2
  2. Japan Radio Network (JRN)—Flagship Station: TBS radio (TBSラジオ)
  3. National Radio Network (NRN)—Flagship Stations: Nippon Cultural Broadcasting (文化放送) and Nippon Broadcasting System (ニッポン放送)
  4. Radio Nikkei is an independent shortwave station broadcasts nationwide in two content channels.

FM radio

  1. NHK-FM
  2. Japan FM Network (JFN)—Tokyo FM Broadcasting Co.,ltd.
  3. Japan FM LeagueJ-Wave Inc.
  4. MegaNet—FM Interwave (InterFM)

See also


Weekly magazines

  1. Metropolis – Japan's number one English magazine (メトロポリス)
  2. Aera (アエラ)
  3. Friday (フライデー) – photo magazine
  4. Josei Jishin (女性自身) – for women
  5. Nikkei Business (日経ビジネス) – economic
  6. Shūkan Asahi (週刊朝日). Liberal.
  7. Shūkan Economist (週刊エコノミスト). Economic
  8. Shūkan Kinyoubi (週刊金曜日). Strong liberal.
  9. Shūkan Bunshun (週刊文春). Conservative.
  10. Shūkan Diamond (週刊ダイヤモンド). Economic
  11. Shūkan Gendai (週刊現代)
  12. Shūkan Josei (週刊女性). For women
  13. Shūkan Post (週刊ポスト)
  14. Shūkan Shinchou (週刊新潮). Conservative
  15. Shūkan Toyo Keizai (週刊東洋経済). Economic
  16. Spa! (スパ!).
  17. Sunday Mainichi (サンデー毎日). Liberal
  18. Yomiuri Weekly (読売ウィークリー)

Monthly magazines

  1. Tokyo Weekender Japan's first English magazine.
  2. Bungei Shunjuu (文藝春秋). Conservative.
  3. Chuuou Kouron (中央公論). Affiliated with the Yomiuri Shimbun. Conservative.
  4. Gendai (現代). Centrist.
  5. Ronza (論座). Published by the Asahi Shimbun Company. Liberal.
  6. Seiron (正論). Published by the Sankei Shimbun Company. Right-wing.
  7. Sekai (世界). Liberal.
  8. Shokun! (諸君!, Gentleman!). Strongly conservative.
  9. Ushio (潮). Strong connection with Sōka Gakkai.
  10. Todai (灯台). Strong connection with Sōka Gakkai.
  11. Fukuoka Now - Monthly multilingual magazine covering Fukuoka and Kyushu.
  12. Axiom Magazine - Online at but a monthly periodical from December 2011

See also


National papers

  1. Yomiuri Shimbun (読売新聞). Conservative to neutral. First ranked in daily circulation at around 10 million per day. The Yomiuri exchanged a special contract with The Times. Affiliated with Nippon Television.
  2. Asahi Shimbun (朝日新聞). Left-wing. Second ranked in daily circulation at around 7 million copies per day. Known for anti-American and pro-Chinese news paper. Affiliated with TV Asahi.
  3. Mainichi Shimbun (毎日新聞). Liberal. Third ranked in daily circulation—around 4 million per day. Affiliated with Tokyo Broadcasting System.
  4. Nikkei Shimbun (日本経済新聞). Economic paper similar to the Wall Street Journal. Fourth ranked in daily circulation at around 3 million copies per day. Affiliated with TV Tokyo.
  5. Sankei Shimbun (産経新聞). Conservative, pro-American and anti-Chinese newspaper. Sixth ranked in daily circulation at around 2 million copies per day. Affiliated with Fuji Television.

Regional papers

The Tokyo Shimbun (東京新聞) in Kanto and Chunichi Shimbun (中日新聞) in Chūbu are both owned by the Chunichi company and have a cumulative circulation that places them fourth nationally. Other nationally-known regional papers include Nishinippon Shimbun (西日本新聞) in Kyushu, Hokkaido Shimbun (北海道新聞) in Hokkaido, Kahoku Shimpo (河北新報) in Tohoku.

Specialty papers

Among niche newspapers are publications like the widely circulated Japanese Communist Party. Other niches include papers devoted entirely to predicting the results of horse races. One of the best-known papers in the genre is Keiba Book (競馬ブック). Shūkan Go (週刊碁) is a weekly newspaper that covers the results of professional Go tournaments and contains hints on Go strategy.

As in other countries, surveys tend to show that the number of newspaper subscribers is declining, a trend which is expected to continue.

Bias in Japanese newspapers

Claims of media bias in Japanese newspapers and the mainstream media in general are often seen on blogs and right-leaning Internet forums, where the "mass media" (masu-komi in Japanese) are often referred to as "mass garbage" (masu-gomi). Signs with this epithet were carried by demonstrators in Tokyo on 24 October 2010, at what was reportedly the first demonstration in Japan to be organized on Twitter.[2] Among the general public, the credibility of the press suffered after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant crisis, when reporters failed to press government and industry sources for more information, and official reports turned out to be inaccurate or simply wrong.[3] Kazuo Hizumi, a journalist turned lawyer, details structural problems in his book, “Masukomi wa naze masugomi to yobareru no ka?” (Why is mass media called mass garbage?), which argues that a complex network of institutions, such as elite bureaucrats, judiciary, education system, law enforcement, and large corporations, all of whom stand to gain from maintaining the status quo, shapes the mass media and communication in a way that controls Japanese politics and discourages critical thinking.[4]

Key stations: television and radio

In Japan, there are five broadcasting stations which take the lead in the network of commercial broadcasting. The five stations are Nippon Television, Tokyo Broadcasting System, Fuji Television, TV Asahi, and TV Tokyo. Their head offices are in Tokyo, and they are called zaikyō kī kyoku (在京キー局, Key stations in Tokyo) or kī kyoku (キー局, Key stations).

The key stations make news shows and entertainment programs, and wholesale them to local broadcasting stations through the networks. Although local broadcasting stations also manufacture programs, the usage of the key stations is very large, and 55.7% of the TV program total sales in the 2002 fiscal year (April 2002 to March 2003) were sold by the key stations. Furthermore, the networks are strongly connected with newspaper publishing companies, and they influence the media very strongly. For this reason, they are often criticized. [5]

In addition, there is CS broadcasting and Internet distribution by the subsidiaries of the key stations. The definition of key station has changed a little in recent years.


In Japan, every broadcasting company (except NHK and Radio Nikkei) which performs terrestrial television broadcasts has an appointed broadcast region. In Article 2 of the Japanese Broadcasting Law (放送法), the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications defines the fixed zone where the broadcast of the same program for every classification of broadcast is simultaneously receivable. So, the broadcasting company constructs a network with other regions, and with this network establishes the exchange of news or programs. The broadcasting companies which send out many programs to these networks are called key stations.

Presently the broadcasting stations located in Tokyo send out the programs for the whole country. However, although TOKYO MX is in the Tokyo region, it is only an Tokyo region UHF independent station.

Broadcasting stations in Nagoya and other areas are older than those in Tokyo. However, in order to meet the large costs of making programs key stations were established in Tokyo to sell programs nationwide. Some local stations have a higher profit ratio since they can merely buy programs from the networks.

Sub-key stations

Since the broadcasting stations which assign the head offices in Kansai region (especially in Osaka) have a program supply frame at prime time etc. and sent out many programs subsequently to kī kyoku, they are called jun kī kyoku (準キー局,sub-key stations).

List of key stations

Media Network Kī kyoku (Kantō) Jun kī kyoku (Kinki) Kikan kyoku (Chūkyō) Ref.
Terrestrial television Nippon News Network
Nippon Television (NTV) Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation (ytv) Chūkyō Television Broadcasting (CTV) [6]
Japan News Network
Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS) Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting (CBC) [7]
Fuji News Network
Fuji Television (CX) Kansai Telecasting Corporation (KTV) Tōkai Television Broadcasting (THK) [8]
All-Nippon News Network
TV Asahi (EX) Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Nagoya Broadcasting Network (Mētere・NBN) [7]
TV Tokyo Network
TV Tokyo (TX) Television Osaka (TVO) Aichi Television Broadcasting (TVA) [9]
AM Radio Japan Radio Network
TBS Radio & Communications (TBS R&C) Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS)
Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting (CBC) [10]
National Radio Network
Nippon Cultural Broadcasting (QR)
Nippon Broadcasting System (LF)
Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS)
Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
Osaka Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Osaka, OBC)
Tokai Radio Broadcasting (SF) [10]
FM Radio JFN Tokyo FM fm osaka FM Aichi [11]
MegaNet InterFM FM Cocolo Radio-i [13]

Advertising agencies

  1. Dentsu (電通). The largest advertising agency in Japan, and the fourth-largest world-wide. Dentsu has an enormous presence in television and other media, and has strong ties to the legislative branch of government.
  2. Hakuhodo (博報堂). The second-largest Japanese advertising agency.
  3. Asatsu-DK (アサツー ディ・ケイ). The third-largest Japanese advertising agency.

Wire services

  1. Jiji Press (時事通信).
  2. Kyodo News (共同通信).

See also


  1. ^ NHK 新放送ガイドライン, p41
  2. ^ nico (26 October 2010). "1st Demonstration called for by Internet against Prosecutors & Mass Media held in Tokyo". Archived from the original on 2014-09-11. 
  3. ^ Kobayashi, Ginko (March 15, 2013). "After Tsunami, Japanese Media Swept up in Wave of Distrust". European Journalism Centre. Archived from the original on 2013-04-24. 
  4. ^ "A champion of independent media". Japan Times. Retrieved 2014-09-12. 
  5. ^ 【第7回】ネット進出より“おいしい”キー局と地方局の関係 (ネット狂騒時代、テレビ局の憂鬱):NBonline(日経ビジネス オンライン)
  6. ^ *一般番組供給はNNSがある。
  7. ^ a b *1975年までJNNとANNの準キー局が互いに逆であった(ネットチェンジを参照)。一般番組供給はJNNにはTBSネットワーク、ANNにはテレビ朝日ネットワークがある。
  8. ^ *一般番組供給はFNSがある。
  9. ^ *テレビ大阪およびテレビ愛知は県域局。なお、テレビ大阪がプライムタイムに番組供給枠を有しているのは1番組(「発進!時空タイムス」- 2007年6月18日をもって放送終了)のみ。
  10. ^ a b *キー局が全てを取り仕切る一方通行方式である為、準キー局は厳密には存在しない。
  11. ^ *各局とも県域局。番組制作会社であるジャパンエフエムネットワーク(JFNC)はキー局に近い形態で、地方局に多数の番組を供給している。
  12. ^ *各局とも県域局。なおJFLはキー局を置いていない(事実上の幹事局はJ-WAVE)。また、ネットワークとして密なものでなく、情報交換や一部番組交換にとどまる。
  13. ^ *各局とも放送地域は、各広域圏内の外国語放送実施地域。ネットワークとして密なものでなく、情報交換や一部番組交換にとどまる。

Further reading

External links

  • Unofficial Guide to Japanese mass-media
  • Media Intimidation in Japan, discussion paper by David McNeill in the electronic journal of contemporary Japanese studies, 27 March 2001.
  • Media and Communication in Japan, discussion paper by Barbara Gatzen in the electronic journal of contemporary Japanese studies, 17 April 2001.
  • Brief history of TV Technology in Japan by NHK
  • Japanese TV Shows Online
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