Tag Archives: Japan

Japan: Some broadcasters running trial suspension of AM radio

(Source: Japan Today)

Is Japan witnessing the death of AM radio?

Since February, some commercial radio broadcasters have begun a trial suspension of AM radio, with a real possibility the pause will extend to a permanent discontinuation across the country as broadcasters look to cut costs.

Thirteen of the 47 commercial operators in Japan have shut off their transmitters to see what effect the temporary end of AM broadcasts will have. AM was launched in 1925, bringing Japan into the radio broadcast age, but may not last long enough to see its 100th anniversary next year.

“Radio was at the center of the home, a medium enjoyed by the entire family,” said Tadanobu Okabe, curator of the Japan Radio Museum in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. [Continue reading…]

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Shiokaze Shortwave Radio Service Faces Crisis

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia, who shares the following news from The Japan News:

Shortwave Radio for Japanese Abductees Faces Crisis

Tokyo, Dec. 31 (Jiji Press)—The Shiokaze shortwave radio service for Japanese nationals abducted to North Korea faces a crisis because it will be unable to counter jamming by Pyongyang during facility renewal work in fiscal 2024.

The situation “contradicts the government’s policy of giving top priority to the abduction issue,” said the group playing the leading role in the radio broadcasts.

Shiokaze, which means sea breeze, began broadcasting in 2005, operated mainly by the Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea. It conveys messages from family members of abductees and news from Japan and abroad.

The radio is constantly hit by jamming signals from North Korea. Since 2019, Shiokaze has been conducting double broadcasting using two frequencies as a countermeasure.

Shiokaze’s transmission base is within KDDI Corp.’s Yamata transmitting station in Koga, Ibaraki Prefecture, eastern Japan.

The number of transmitters at the station will be reduced by two from the current seven partly due to the aging facility. There will be a period when double broadcasting is not possible during the work.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK, which uses the KDDI station as a base for its overseas radio services, said that work related to the transmitters will last up to 10 months from the second half of fiscal 2024.

“For a while during the work, Shiokaze is expected to broadcast on one frequency,” said an official of NHK, formally called Japan Broadcasting Corp.

“We recognize that the work is necessary in order to continue the two frequency system although (Shiokaze) will be a single frequency service temporarily,” then Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a meeting of a parliamentary special panel on the abduction issue Dec. 4, 2023.

Meanwhile, a Cabinet Secretariat official expressed concern, saying that “the risk of obstruction will increase more than ever,” albeit temporarily. [Continue reading…]

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Japan’s Longest Day: August 15, 1945

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Fred Waterer, who writes:

At Noon on August 15, 1945, Emporer Hirohito spoke to his nation by radio for the first time, ever. The intrigue surrounding the recording of his speech and the effort to get it on the air would be worthy of a Hollywood film. When word started getting out that the broadcast would be made, fanatics who wanted to keep fighting staged an attempted coup. An NHK (Japan Radio Corporation) engineer had a gun to his head as an officer attempted to hijack the station at 5am. His coolness under pressure saved his life. He also temporarily severed the line to the transmitter, just in case the officer changed his mind about killing him.

Meanwhile at the palace, the NHK recording engineers had recorded two versions of the speech. The recordings (and the engineers) were hidden overnight, as was the Emporer, in the labyrinth of the palace. Coup leaders searching for the disks to destroy them failed. Eventually troops loyal to the Emporer took control of the situation, with many of the coup plotters killing themselves. At noon, the recordings were in the NHK studios and were broadcast as scheduled.

The actual broadcast:

In 1967 a film about these events was made in Japan, called Japan’s Longest Day and starring the great Toshiro Mifune.

The recording scene:

Looks like quite a film!

Thank you for sharing this, Fred.

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JNHK3 this Sunday

Hi SWLing Post lounge community, Fastradioburst23 here letting you know about the next Imaginary Stations transmission JNHK 3 to be broadcast this Sunday 21st May 2023 at 2200 UTC on 9395 kHz via the services of WRMI. After our well received broadcast last week (thank you to all who got in touch) featuring some recordings of radio in Japan, this week we will feature some Japanese related music. Tune in and enjoy!  First-time listeners are more than welcome to send reception reports to [email protected] and to check out our old shows here.

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JNHK2 on WRMI this Sunday

Happy Friday SWLing Post lounge community, Fastradioburst23 here letting you know about our special Imaginary Stations JNHK 2 broadcast which will be aired on Sunday 14th May 2023 at 2200 UTC on 9395 kHz via the services of WRMI. The broadcast features some excellent recordings of Japanese radio from our long-time listener Takuji Sahara from Tokyo. Tune in and sample what’s to be found on the radio dial in Japan. In the words of one of the Imaginary Stations crew “It’s great to know radio is alive and well in Japan.”

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Radio Waves: London’s Hyper-Local Radio Scene, Kraina FM, Swedish Radio Reconsiders Digital, Japanese Mobile Radio Station, and Guinea-Bissau Station Threatened

Radio Seribatu FM Tower

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to Eric Jon Magnuson for the following tips:

How the Capital Tuned in to Hyper-Local Radio (Standard.co.uk)

The capital’s local radio scene is having a renaissance. From pub garden pop-ups to shipping container stations, Londoners are falling back in love with FM (and DAB/online/smart speaker/insert new mode of listening here). Tuning in has never been better, says Jessica Benjamin — antennae at the ready, it’s time to meet our favourite local stations

Westside — Hanwell 89.6 FM

Broadcasting from Hanwell’s Clocktower Mews to west London, Westside Radio was launched in 2007 by none other than Boris Johnson himself. ‘He promised to come back to Westside if he was elected mayor on the condition that we would play songs by The Clash,’ station manager Sone Palda tells me. ‘All of this while he was surrounded by Labour MPs and councillors in the studio.’ Big name politicians aside, Palda is both excited by and concerned for the future of local radio. ‘In this era community radio is one of the key mediums producing genuine local content and news,’ he says. ‘Most of the local independent commercial stations are being bought up by the big groups, then being rebranded and losing their identity. We want to remain being a platform for emerging radio presenting and production talent, and to continue entertaining our dedicated local audience.’

Soho Radio — Soho

Launched in 2014 and broadcasting live from Broadwick Street, Soho Radio has serious clout when it comes to big name presenters. Think Primal Scream’s Simone Marie Butler, Groove Armada’s Tom Findlay, Jim Sclavunos of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Metronomy’s Anna Prior to name a few — and they don’t just stop at radio. ‘We won Event of the Decade [in Time Out magazine] for our 12-hour street party broadcast with R3 Soundsystem,’ station manager Rachael Bird says. ‘We had some amazing DJs join us live on air, with the likes of Seth Troxler, Norman Jay, Artwork, Eats Everything and Sink the Pink gracing the decks. The day culminated with our very own lorry sound system pulling up in the streets of Soho to finish the street party with a bang — it didn’t last long before it got shut down (whoops!) but was definitely a Soho Radio highlight and a day to remember.’ The grassroots online station has since expanded to the Big Apple, where it has been streaming from Lower Manhattan since late 2020 for a double dose of Soho listening. [Continue reading the full article…]

This Ukrainian radio station is staying on air for the war effort from a makeshift studio in the mountains (The Current – CBC)

Kraina FM CEO Bogdan Bolkhovetsky says station helps military, lifts people’s spirits

A Kyiv radio station is broadcasting from a makeshift studio to bring Ukrainians the latest news about the war, and music to lift their spirits during the hours spent sitting in air raid shelters.

“In Kyiv, air raid alerts are eight to nine times a day, lasting from 30 minutes to three hours,” said Bogdan Bolkhovetsky, CEO of Kraina FM, an independent Ukrainian music station.

“And while people sit in shelters, they sing … Ukrainian songs,” he told The Current’s Matt Galloway.

Playing a variety of Ukrainian on the airwaves “is good for people … it brings back some normality to life, I guess,” he said.

Bolkhovetsky and his family fled Kyiv in the days after the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24. Members of his team also fled, and they regrouped in a small village in the Carpathian Mountains on Feb. 27. The village lies south of Lviv in the west of Ukraine, where many refugees have fled to escape Russia’s advance from the east. Some find refuge in the west’s smaller towns and villages, but others press on to cross into neighbouring Poland or Slovakia.

Click here to read the full article and listen to the audio at The Current.

Swedish Radio reconsiders its digital strategy (Red Tech)

Cilla Benkö is the director general and CEO of Sveriges (Swedish) Radio. She started as an intern in the sports department when there were very few females in the industry. Benkö, who has worked at the organization for more than 30 years as a journalist and has held several managerial positions, provides insight into how Swedish Radio is navigating today’s evolving landscape. Continue reading

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Radio Waves: First Transatlantic Signal 120 Years Today, 100 Years of German Radio, NASA Laser Communications, and Ham Transmitter on the Moon

Marconi watching associates raising the kite (a “Levitor” by B.F.S. Baden-Powell[47]) used to lift the antenna at St. John’s, Newfoundland, December 1901 (via Wikipedia)

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Trevor R, Andrea Bornino, Wilbur Forcier, and the Southgate ARC for the following tips:

First radio transmission sent across the Atlantic Ocean (History.com)

Italian physicist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi succeeds in sending the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean, disproving detractors who told him that the curvature of the earth would limit transmission to 200 miles or less. The message–simply the Morse-code signal for the letter “s”–traveled more than 2,000 miles from Poldhu in Cornwall, England, to Newfoundland, Canada.

Born in Bologna, Italy, in 1874 to an Italian father and an Irish mother, Marconi studied physics and became interested in the transmission of radio waves after learning of the experiments of the German physicist Heinrich Hertz. He began his own experiments in Bologna beginning in 1894 and soon succeeded in sending a radio signal over a distance of 1.5 miles. Receiving little encouragement for his experiments in Italy, he went to England in 1896. He formed a wireless telegraph company and soon was sending transmissions from distances farther than 10 miles. In 1899, he succeeded in sending a transmission across the English Channel. That year, he also equipped two U.S. ships to report to New York newspapers on the progress of the America’s Cup yacht race. That successful endeavor aroused widespread interest in Marconi and his wireless company. Continue reading

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