Media of Japan

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). In areas near U.S. military bases there is often the American Forces Network radio which anyone can tune in to.


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 League—J-Wave Inc.
  4. MegaNet—FM Interwave (InterFM)

See also

  • Lists of radio stations in Asia


Weekly magazines

  1. Metropolis Magazine Japan's number 1 English magazine Metropolis (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 magazine.
  6. Shuukan Asahi (週刊朝日). Liberal.
  7. Shuukan Economist (週刊エコノミスト). Economic magazine.
  8. Shuukan Kinyoubi (週刊金曜日). Strong liberal.
  9. Shuukan Bunshun (週刊文春). Conservative.
  10. Shuukan Diamond (週刊ダイヤモンド). Economic magazine.
  11. Shuukan Gendai (週刊現代).
  12. Shuukan Josei (週刊女性). For women.
  13. Shuukan Post (週刊ポスト).
  14. Shuukan Shinchou (週刊新潮). Conservative.
  15. Shuukan Toyo Keizai (週刊東洋経済). Economic magazine.
  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, although some say this magazine is middle.
  3. Chuuou Kouron (中央公論). Affiliated with the Yomiuri Shimbun. Conservative.
  4. Gendai (現代). Center.
  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). Strong Liberal.
  8. Shokun! (諸君!, Gentleman!). Strong Conservative.
  9. Ushio (潮). It has a strong connection with Soka Gakkai International.
  10. Todai (灯台). It has a strong connection with Soka Gakkai International.
  11. Fukuoka Now - Monthly multilingual magazine covering Fukuoka and Kyushu.

See also


  1. Yomiuri Shimbun (読売新聞). Conservative. 1st ranked in daily circulation—around 10 million per day. The Yomiuri Shimbun, being very widely circulated, takes the most popular stance. The Yomiuri exchanged a special contract with British The Times. Affiliated with Nippon Television.
  2. Asahi Shimbun (朝日新聞). Left of center or liberal. 2nd ranked in daily circulation—around 8 million per day. Known for its preeminent writers as well as the frequency with which its articles are used for university admission examinations. Affiliated with TV Asahi.
  3. Mainichi Shimbun (毎日新聞). Liberal. 3rd 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. 4th ranked in daily circulation - around 3 million per day. Affiliated with TV Tokyo.
  5. Sankei Shimbun (産経新聞). Right-wing or conservative, pro-American and anti-Chinese newspaper. 6th ranked in daily circulation—around 2 million per day. Known as the nationalist's newspaper and upheld formidably by the right. Affiliated with Fuji Television.

There are also regional newspapers like the quasi-national Tokyo Shimbun (東京新聞) in Kanto and Chunichi Shimbun (中日新聞) in Chūbu (both owned by the Chunichi company and with a cumulative circulation that places them 4th, nationally), Nishinippon Shimbun (西日本新聞) in Kyūshū, Hokkaido Shimbun (北海道新聞) in Hokkaidō, Kahoku Shimpo (河北新報) in Tohoku, and English versions of the 5 major newspapers. Business newspapers like Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (The Business & Technology Daily News) are also widely read. The Japan Times is the only newspaper exclusively for English speakers, although other dailies, including the Yomiuri Shimbun and the Asahi Shimbun, produce English newspapers and/or provide English content on their websites. Seikyo Shimbun (聖教新聞) is a daily newspaper for Soka Gakkai International, a new religious movement.

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

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.

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) [2]
Japan News Network
Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS) Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting (CBC) [3]
Fuji News Network
Fuji Television (CX) Kansai Telecasting Corporation (KTV) Tōkai Television Broadcasting (THK) [4]
All-Nippon News Network
TV Asahi (EX) Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Nagoya Broadcasting Network (Mētere・NBN) [3]
TV Tokyo Network
TV Tokyo (TX) Television Osaka (TVO) Aichi Television Broadcasting (TVA) [5]
AM Radio Japan Radio Network
TBS Radio & Communications (TBS R&C) Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS)
Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting (CBC) [6]
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) [6]
FM Radio JFN Tokyo FM fm osaka FM Aichi [7]
InterFM FM Cocolo Radio-i [9]


It is criticized that the key stations are governing the local broadcasting stations with the power of the networks. [10]

Advertising agencies

These play an important role in the Japanese mass media. There are two big advertisement agencies in Japan.

  1. Dentsu (電通). Largest Japanese advertising agency (4th worldwide). It has an enormous presence, especially in TV media. This company went public in November 2001. This company also has a strong connection to the legislative branch of Japan. Website: Dentsu
  2. Hakuhodo (博報堂). 2nd largest Japanese advertising agency.
  3. Asatsu-DK (アサツー ディ・ケイ). 3rd largest Japanese advertising agency.

Wire service

  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. ^ *一般番組供給はNNSがある。
  3. ^ 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。
  4. ^ *一般番組供給はFNSがある。
  5. ^ *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。
  6. ^ 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。
  7. ^ *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。
  8. ^ *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。
  9. ^ *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。
  10. ^ 【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)

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