One of the oddities of living in Miyazaki is that there are almost no radio stations. I sweep the tuner across the dial and there is only static punctuated by the three or four lonely stations my radio can pick up. In over eight years here I have never gotten into a car and heard a radio; I have never walked into a workplace, shop, or home and heard a radio (the only exceptions to this would be broadcasts of the annual high school baseball championship and/or broadcasts of Japan's games during the world cup); I've never met anyone here who listens to the radio to get the latest news and weather, to hear the latest songs, to find out what's happening in the city, etc. This is vaguely troubling to me, especially when I think about the number and variety of radio stations available to anyone anywhere in North America.
According to the CIA's World Factbook, Japan has 215 unique AM and 89 FM stations. Compare those numbers to Canada's 245 AM and 582 FM stations (while bearing in mind that Canada has about one quarter of Japan's population). Both are dwarfed by the 4,789 AM and 8,961 FM stations in the US.
It's puzzling to me that a wealthy, developed country like Japan has so little happening on the airwaves (there are also relatively few unique television broadcasters). And, unless you're actually here to find out for yourself, you'll have to take my word for it that Japan's broadcasters all have this in common: complete, absolute, and utter shit for content. Literally and figuratively, there's nothing on...
Tags: Japan : communications : radio