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 capital investments by existing radio 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).
There are 6 nationwide television networks, as follows:
The Tokyo Shimbun (?) in Kanto and Chunichi Shimbun (?) in Ch?bu 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 () in Kyushu, Hokkaido Shimbun () in Hokkaido, Kahoku Shimpo (?) in Tohoku.
Among niche newspapers are publications like the widely circulated Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (The Business and Technology Daily News), the Buddhist organization S?ka Gakkai's daily Seikyo Shimbun (?), and Shimbun Akahata, the daily organ of the 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 (). Sh?kan Go () 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.
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. 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.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.
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 zaiky? k? kyoku (, Key stations in Tokyo) or k? kyoku (, 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 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 (), 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.
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.
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 k? kyoku, they are called jun k? kyoku (?,sub-key stations).
|Media||Network||K? kyoku (Kant?)||Jun k? kyoku (Kansai)||Kikan kyoku (T?kai)||Ref.|
|Terrestrial television||Nippon News Network
|Nippon Television (NTV)||Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation (ytv)||Ch?ky? Television Broadcasting (CTV)|||
|Japan News Network
|Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS)||Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS)||Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting (CBC)|||
|Fuji News Network
|Fuji Television (CX)||Kansai Telecasting Corporation (KTV)||T?kai Television Broadcasting (THK)|||
|All-Nippon News Network
|TV Asahi (EX)||Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)||Nagoya Broadcasting Network (M?tere?NBN)|||
|TV Tokyo Network
|TV Tokyo (TX)||Television Osaka (TVO)||Aichi Television Broadcasting (TVA)|||
|AM Radio||Japan Radio Network
|TBS Radio & Communications (TBS R&C)||Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS)
Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
|Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting (CBC)|||
|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)|||
|FM Radio||JFN||Tokyo FM||fm osaka||FM Aichi|||