Japan Today
Prewar radios displayed at the Japan Radio Museum in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. Image: Japan Radio Museum website
national

AM radio listeners set to be permanently tuned out in Japan

26 Comments
By Chihiro Inoue

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
Login to comment

I recall the first time I came to Japan in 93 I tuned into the BC World Service on AM, happy times.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

So AM radio will be gone in Japan but Japan will keep fax up and running?

-13 ( +12 / -25 )

I still have fond memories of FEN, the Far East Network, on AM 810, particularly the homemade “Yes, I do” Learn Japanese public service announcements.

https://youtu.be/vFbTlsYQVt4?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

AM radio can save you in an earthquake. Do you think your mobile phone or internet will help you when the big one hits?

I'm a big radio listener, but the state of radio broadcasting in Japan is appalling. There's a handful of FM stations in the Kanto region of 35 million people. Mid-sized towns elsewhere in the world have more. And most on-air people on FM sound like amateurs who chatter over the songs even while the vocals are going.

NHK domestic AM Radio One is pretty good when it's not pre-empted by high school baseball games and Diet deliberations. But that's about it.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

There is nothing better than to follow a baseball game hands-free while you're painting a room or fixing something, than AM. If it goes, I'll miss it.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Maybe someday, they'll roll out digital FM broadcasts here that allow for higher fidelity and data decades after HD Radio in the US and DAB in the UK.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

They can move their stations online. I listen to BBC World online. AM radio sometimes. Useful service especially during a disaster.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

My Japanese partner listens to NHK AM for the English lessons. It is also available online.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I still have fond memories of FEN, the Far East Network, on AM 810, particularly the homemade “Yes, I do”

Used to listen to FEN all the time when I first came to Japan! Remember those ADs well! LoL!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

This would be really unfortunate: AM has a storied history and remains accessible by everyone, including in an emergency.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

AM radio can save you in an earthquake. Do you think your mobile phone or internet will help you when the big one hits?

I'm a big radio listener, but the state of radio broadcasting in Japan is appalling. There's a handful of FM stations in the Kanto region of 35 million people.

Besides what will happen to the AM in those mountainous expressways/tunnels?

And I agree regarding the radio in this place, whenever I fool myself into trying to listen to j-radio while driving I get some 10 stations with nothing but people talking about the most shallow, boring stuff, akin to watching all those people eating on tv

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Please, keep it at all costs. AM is so much loved just because of its less-quality and nostalgic sound. Also it's surely much better to still have it in case of a disaster or prevention and in less accessible, low polpulated , mountainous or marine areas and in general far away from city centers where the FM antennas are usually installed, as AM is usually covering a much wider area. Although expensive, I recommend to see that it is worth its price.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It an AM transmit station 1500 ft ,from where I stay,it put out a good signal during the day,but not good at night,I can pick up station 700 miles in Chicago and Mexico,Maybe NK should beam their signal on the Japanese AM dial

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Tooally fine to do away with AM radio altogether. It''s a natural progression of advancements in technology and communications. Similarly vinyl records and audio cassette tapes gave way to CDs, DVDs, and BDs, now those technologies further give way to digital media and VOD (video on demand). Dial phones gave way to push button pones, and now smartphones. Those who wish to continue living in the past, well, they can write handwrite a letter, address an envelope, puchase stamps, lick the stamps and affix them to an envelope, walk to the nearest post box and post the letter and hopefully, maybe, get a reply a week or 10 days later. No need to type here for instant feedback or gratification. 率直に言えばAMはもう不要で廃止すべきです。

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Jerry SuppanToday 11:11 am JST

Tooally fine to do away with AM radio altogether. It''s a natural progression of advancements in technology and communications. Similarly vinyl records and audio cassette tapes gave way to CDs, DVDs, and BDs, now those technologies further give way to digital media and VOD (video on demand).

Vinyl and Blu-Ray are still being made and collected to compensate for the deficiencies of streaming.

Dial phones gave way to push button pones, and now smartphones.

Smartphones offered a clear improvement, which is not common with technology.

Those who wish to continue living in the past, well, they can write handwrite a letter, address an envelope, puchase stamps, lick the stamps and affix them to an envelope, walk to the nearest post box and post the letter and hopefully, maybe, get a reply a week or 10 days later. No need to type here for instant feedback or gratification.

That's the thing, though: you can still do those things. We're talking about AM radio being permanently shut down.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@sakurasuki,

Again your comments indicate you do not understand. Fax is still used not only in Japan. It is still used for important documents since it can be verified by sender and receiver. Many banks around the globe are still using it for sharing with in the bank group.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

My favorite radio station is Radio Caroline the original pirate radio station in the UK. It started broadcasting in 1964.

https://www.radiocaroline.co.uk/#home.html

They also have apps.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

American lawyers use FAX machines.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

FM in the car, Inter FM in Kanto, the best radio station in Japan

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

AM radio can save you in an earthquake. Do you think your mobile phone or internet will help you when the big one hits?

To my surprise the answer is yes with respect to cell phones. Pretty much forever I have kept a land line and an ancient Bell Systems (yes, that old) touch tone phone, one of the ones with a real steel base that runs on the current in the phone line. Dead reliable in a quake. But a couple of years ago we experienced a M6.4 quake one morning followed by a M7.1 quake the following evening. In between the ground never stopped shaking. My wife described it as feeling like sitting on a pot of boiling water. But after both main quakes I was taking calls from friends and relatives on my cell phone and could call out with no problem. The cell towers all have generators and they worked. No loss of communications. We could get internet on our phones. When the second quake hit the lights didn't even go out (there was no power for about 4 hours after the first quake) and no interruption in our internet.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Desert Tortoise

The cell towers all have generators and they worked. No loss of communications. We could get internet on our phones.

Cell towers in Japan do not have generators.

In the 3/11 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster all cell phones stopped working.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

FM is short range, line of sight. AM can be heard across continents, especially at night.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I still occassionally listen to FEN (AM810) while in the car. The ads targeting financially unsavvy young enlisted men are quite amusing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Especially if it’s on Short Wave bands Red.

I guarantee you I will be talking anywhere in SE Asia on Single Side Band, most any time of day, on my HF Radio, when there’s any natural or man made disaster (unless it’s an EMP Blast).

73

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Used to listen to FEN all the time when I first came to Japan!"

Yes, me too; I still remember listening to my very first Nihongo lesson while I was driving the company-owned Suzuki Alto..."IMA NANJI DESU KA? means, What time is it now?"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

However, at an expert panel meeting held by the ministry in April, there were comments, such as from one broadcast official who said, "We hope that AM broadcasting will be promptly discontinued," suggesting it is very likely the trial will lead to the effective end of AM broadcasting in Japan.

With AM radio, if not nostalgia, on the way out, mediums like internet radio and podcasts are meeting many people's listening needs.

> "I miss the static sound of AM broadcasting," said a 39-year-old woman from Tokyo who used to enjoy AM broadcasts when she was in junior high school. She has been recently tuning in to "radiko," which allows users to listen to radio programs via the internet.

I have fond memories of the statically sound of AM stations when I was t(w)een. I used to even listen to certain regional stations when they went off the air for the day, as well as ones with far-reaching signals from South Bend, Indiana ('Goodbye sun, hello moon, play that tune. WO-WO!), Chicago, WABC in NYC (better than the crap in my hometown!), even Toronto.

That all changed at the end of 1992 when practically all AM radio turned to yik-yak by unfunny, stupid, ignorant loudmouth boors with their hatred and conspiracy theories - you know, like Rubbish Limberger and the like.

FM radio isn't much better now. In my hometown it's just Radio GaGa, Radio GooGoo, Radio NaNa. It's the same ol' song and the DJ SUCKS! Makes me sad. I try to sing along. DAMN THAT RADIO SONG! If it weren't for the CD player in my car, I'd go crazy!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites