From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Broadcast areaGreater Tokyo Area
Frequency81.3 MHz
Branding81.3 J-Wave
AffiliationsJapan FM League
OwnerJ-Wave Inc. (owned by Credit Saison, Nippon Broadcasting System, Kyodo News, and other stakeholders)
First air date
August 1, 1988; 35 years ago (1988-08-01)
Call sign meaning
Technical information
ERP57,000 watts
HAAT632.2 meters
Transmitter coordinates
35°42′35.93″N 139°48′38.35″E / 35.7099806°N 139.8106528°E / 35.7099806; 139.8106528
Repeater(s)Minato 88.3 MHz
WebcastJ-Wave on radiko
J-Wave on Ustream

J-Wave is a commercial radio station based in Tokyo, Japan, broadcasting on 81.3 FM from the Tokyo Skytree to the Tokyo area. J-Wave airs mostly music, covering a wide range of formats. The station is considered the most popular among FM broadcasts in Tokyo,[1] and has surprised the radio broadcast industry by gaining a higher popularity rate than an AM station (JOQR) in a survey conducted in June 2008.[2] J-Wave was founded in October 1988 with the callsign of JOAV-FM. It is a member station of the Japan FM League (JFL) commercial radio network.[3]


J-WAVE's slogan is "The Best Music on the Planet." The DJs are known as "navigators" (ナビゲーター, nabigētā). The music format can be considered a Japanese equivalent of the Western concept of Top 40 or CHR radio.

Hundreds of different jingles separate programs from commercials; they are generally played at the same decibel level and are variations on a single melody.[citation needed] J-Wave has been broadcast via satellite since 1994 and some of its programs also air on some community radio stations in Japan.


On December 10, 1987, J-WAVE was incorporated and started test broadcasts on the FM band at 81.3 MHz on August 1, 1988. On October 1 of that year at 5:00 a.m., it started transmission from Tokyo Tower. J-Wave was the 27th FM radio station nationwide to launch at that time, and the second in Tokyo. The name ”J-WAVE” originally derived from a record shop WAVE in Roppongi, which also belonged to "Saison Group". While other radio stations focused more on presentation, J-WAVE adopted a "more music less talk" format. The station had a large fanbase because of its unusual programming style, playing music non-stop except for jingles and breaks for news, traffic and weather. The law in Japan at that time stipulated that programming had to be maximum 80% music, and minimum 20% talk and continuity. J-WAVE coined the term "J-pop", which is only vaguely defined but led to the eventual mirror term, K-pop.

Around 1995, J-WAVE hired new personalities in an attempt to rejuvenate itself. Its term "J-POP" became synonymous with commercially palatable Japanese music from across the spectrum, except for traditional Japanese music. Specials started to air around this time, and the station took steps to attract a listener base desirable for higher ad revenues.

On October 1, 2003, J-WAVE moved its head office to the 33rd floor of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Minato, Tokyo. On April 23, 2012, J-WAVE moved its transmitting station at Tokyo Tower to the Tokyo Sky Tree with new transmission power of 7 kilowatts with an ERP of 57 kilowatts. Before the move, the transmission power was 10 kilowatts with an ERP of 44 kilowatts.

Navigators (DJs)[edit]

Popular Navigators with "obis", or daily shows, on J-Wave (1988–1993) include:


Tokio Hot 100[edit]

J-WAVE publishes the Tokyo Hot 100 singles chart which is compiled from Billboard Japan data: data for each music streaming service, download data, number of video views, CD sales data, number of tweets on Twitter.[4] These should not be confused with the Japanese single charts, Oricon, which has its own national airplay charts.[5]

There is also a TV version shown on MTV Japan.[6]


Song of the year (Slam Jam)[edit]


  1. ^ Condry, Ian (2006). Hip-hop Japan. Duke University Press. p. 175. ISBN 0-8223-3892-0.
  2. ^ "J-Wave has drawn considerable attention in the industry with the 'phenomenal overtaking by an FM station of AM'", reported ZAKZAK, an internet news branch of Sankei Digital on 2008-07-23. It said that J-Wave ranked fourth with 0.9% share, overtaking Nippon Cultural Broadcasting (0.8%).(in Japanese)[1] Archived 2009-04-03 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Kuniko Watenabe; Yuko Tsuchiya (2008). "Japan". In Indrajit Banerjee; Stephen Logan (eds.). Asian Communication Handbook 2008. AMIC. p. 240. ISBN 978-981-4136-10-5.
  4. ^ "Tokio Hot 100". J-Wave (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  5. ^ "オリコンランキング". ORICON NEWS.
  6. ^ http://www.mtvjapan.com/tv/program/rg_tokiohot100

External links[edit]