Living Infomation

Comprehensive Living Guide for Foreign Residents in Japan

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TV, radio, newspapers and internet

TV, radio, newspaper, and Internet are great information sources for your daily life.

  • Three types of television broadcasting services are available in Japan; NHK public broadcasting that is operated by receiving fees paid by all TV viewers, commercial broadcasting that is supported by sponsors, and paid broadcasting that is provided only to subscribers.
  • If you own a television set, you are required by law to pay the NHK receiving fee.
  • There are two kinds of television broadcasting: ground-based broadcasting and satellite broadcasting. There are also two kinds of satellite broadcasting, BS broadcasting and CS broadcasting, requiring specific antennae, a tuner, or a television with a built-in tuner. Cable television is also available by contracting with a regional cable television station.
  • "One-seg (one segment)" broadcasting is a digital terrestrial television broadcasting service that mainly targets mobile phones. While many one-seg programs are the same as standard TV programs, some exclusive programs that are viewable only through the one-seg service have been on air since 2008. There are several types of one-seg receiving units available on the market, from mobile phones to in-vehicle units to portable units to laptop computers.

Radio broadcasts are available in AM broadcasting, FM broadcasting, and other formats. Since many radio receivers are battery-operated, they are useful in a time of disaster for collecting information.


There are several national newspapers and prefecture-based local newspapers available in Japan. You can subscribe monthly and have the newspaper delivered by a local sales office, or buy a copy at station kiosks or convenience stores. Many newspapers issue both morning and evening editions.

It is becoming more common to subscribe only to a morning edition, however. Some national papers do not publish evening editions anymore. Some newspapers are available in foreign languages, including English, and can be bought at station kiosks or delivered after subscription.


There are various methods of accessing the Internet. When accessing the Internet from home, it is convenient to have hardline connections such as optical fiber or ADSL provided by an Internet service provider, or a cable television network.

By using a "mobile Wi-Fi router," which enables users to access the Internet wirelessly, you may also access the Internet on your computer or tablet device from outside your home. You may also access the Internet by using "Wi-Fi Spots" provided at airports, stations, convenience stores and cafés.

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