Which radios need registration?
For a deep-dive, see our main radio explainer, here.
In a nutshell, the registration tools here apply to Japan compliant high-power (1-5W) license-free digital simple registration radios デジタル簡易無線 (UHF 341Mhz). These types of radios need registration (but not a license) in Japan. An example is the high-end ruggedized Standard VXD30 (1~5km range, other options here).
Foreign radios cannot be used in Japan, nor can they be registered for use in Japan. This post only applies to Japan-bought digital simple registration kan-i radios (341Mhz デジタル簡易無線 digital kan-i musen) with the following technical compliance label (full details here).
Things you'll need
Some notes before you begin
Individuals: Any individual who can supply a Japan address can register a Japan-compliant (important!) Digital Simple Radio. So theoretically, you could register a radio by sending documents from overseas (if registering radios one by one, see Registration Method below). You’d need to get your hands on Japan revenue stamps 収入印紙 of the right value though; we’re not aware of options of for purchasing overseas.
Unincorporated associations, clubs, groups etc: Perhaps your mountain club, sports team, aviation club, or knitting group needs a few high-powered radios to keep in touch in Japan. You can apply for registration of those radios in the name of your club. In this case, however, you do need a copy of your group’s charter (in Japanese) and a list of governing members.
Incorporated associations, businesses, organizations etc: Companies and other incorporated organizations officially registered within Japan can also register radios in their name. They don’t need to supply any extra documentation.
Anyone who is with the person named on the registration can use digital kan-i radios.
It is legal to lend/rent your radio to another person; this means that if you buy a set of radios you can hand them out to your friends to use for the day. If they are operating under your supervision such as skiing in your group (or are members of the registered owning organization) there is no need to file any more paperwork. If they are operating independently of you then you’ll need to let the prefectural authority know about it. See more details here.
In Japan, Digital Simple Registration Radios can be registered individually (Single Registration 一個) or in sets (Blanket Registration 包括登録). There’s pros and cons for each method. If you’re only registering one or two radios, Single Registration might be less hassle. More than a few handsets though, and Blanket Registration is more cost-effective, despite the registration process being a little more involved.
A) Single Registration (一個): Registering radios individually
- One-off registration fee of 2,300yen per handset.
- Only requires one form to be sent in per handset, and you’re done.
- Quicker and less back-and-forth.
- Have the option of pre-paying your annual spectrum fees for the whole 5-year registration period up-front in the first year.
- Gets expensive for more than a couple of handsets, as you pay 2,300yen per handset for registration.
- Annual spectrum fees are also higher per handset – 600yen per handset.
B) Blanket Registration (包括): Registering radios in sets
- One-off registration fee of 2,900yen regardless of number of handsets registered.
- Cheaper for multiple handsets – only 2,900yen to register as many handsets as you want.
- Annual spectrum fee per handset is cheaper – 450yen per handset.
- Requires an initial form to be sent in, then another form to be sent in a few weeks later after receiving a registration certificate.
- The second form requires a registration number to be copied from the Japanese registration certificate.
- More time required to get fully registered, more back-and-forth.
- No annual spectrum fees pre-payment option.
Handsets can be registered for a maximum of 5 years. After the 5 years is up, handset registration needs to be renewed.
Radios registered individually, one-by-one: One-time payment of 2,300yen per radio.
Blanket Registration covering multiple radios/handsets: One-time payment of 2,900yen, regardless of the number of radios registered.
Registration payment method: Payment is by way of sticking Japan-issued revenue stamps (収入印紙) to the application form. Revenue stamps are easy to source within Japan at convenience stores or post offices. We’re not aware of any way to get revenue stamps overseas, and we don’t know of any Japan-based online sellers who post overseas.
Japan Revenue Stamps (収入印紙)
Each radio handset is subject to annual spectrum user fees.
- Handsets registered individually: 600yen per year per handset.
- In the case of individually-registered radios, you have the option of paying these spectrum fees in advance for the full period of registration E.g., 600yen x 5 years = 3,000yen one-off payment in first year.
- Handsets registered under a blanket registration: 450yen per year per handset. No option to pre-pay fees.
It’s also possible to register radios online in Japanese via the government’s website here. But, good luck. The process is not for the faint of heart. It first requires you to register your identity (Japan residence required). In the end, we decided the postal route was actually easier and less confusing.
Here’s the Hokkaido Bureau of Telecommunicaion’s webpage with all the required documents, in PDF, Word, or Excel format. Also includes examples of how to fill them out: https://www.soumu.go.jp/soutsu/hokkaido/E/cr/dwn10.htm.
For other bureaus, a Google search will likely get you to where you need, but in principle, the documentation is all the same; there’s no set format.
Mail-in Registration Document Generator
Use our mail-in documents generator form below to generate your own pre-filled Japanese registration documents. Full instructions on where to send the documents is included in the resulting PDF. You can save your work and come back to it if you want.
If you have any issues with our PDF generator, or have any feedback, please let us know in the comments below.
Privacy note: PDFs generated here are not saved or stored on our website, and any download links are only valid for 20 minutes.
This form is for re-registering 再登録 Kan-i Digital Radios, previously registered in Japan, under the name of person/organization who originally registered the radio. This form should be sent in between one to three months before your registration is set to expire.
IMPORTANT: For this process, you’ll need 1) your original registration number, and 2) the date your radio(s) were originally registered. You can find these details on your registration confirmation document you got in the post when you originally registered the radios.
- NOTE 1: If your registration has already expired, you have to register your radios from scratch. Use the “Kan-i Radio New Registration” form above.
- NOTE 2: You cannot use this form to change ownership of radios or make other changes to registration details. If you wish to transfer ownership, you’ll need to cancel the existing registration, and the new owner will need to register the radios anew under their name.
Coming soon. Forms to cancel your registration before your full registration period is up.
Coming soon. Forms to alter your address and/or name.