The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has issued its report “The Future of Radio and Regional Information Media,” which seeks to clarify how radio and other local terrestrial media will be changed as media digitizes across the country.
Japan is in the process of migrating analog television to all digital operation using the ISDB-T standard by July 2011. The move to digital is expected to free up spectrum for use by mobile telephones, intelligent transport systems and other wireless devices.
Radio is not part of the mandated transition to digital in part because the 76–90 MHz band used for FM radio in Japan is not suitable for these next generation devices; however, the MIC is helping coordinate radio digitization in part to help make the medium more appealing to younger listeners.
The MIC foresees digital radio operating with the ISDB-T standard in VHF band I, Channels 1–3. According to a report in The Mainichi Daily News, radio digitization could happen as early as autumn 2013 with stations simulcasting on analog FM for as long as the operators feel is appropriate.
The report, “?????????????????????,” is available via the MIC website in Japanese.