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  1. 7J-8N Stations Categorization
  2. A 7J-8N amateur call sign implies

    1. a foreigner,
    2. an individual under the call sign shortage in Area 1 — these two are sequentially assigned —,
    3. an outside province,
    4. a special event,
    5. an ARISS school contact,
    6. an experience station or
    7. a disaster relief.

    The following is not a written policy, but a follow-up categorization by the author. (8K and 8L are not used yet.)

    |-Foreigner licensed 1985-1999 (7J#$$$)
    |-Individual in Area 1, licensed in the call sign shortage 1990-2003 (7[K-N][1-4]$$$)
    +-Special call sign (8J's,  8N's, 7J1RL, 8M1C and 8M2000)
      |-Special place: outside Japan
      | |-Polar region
      | | |-Antarctic region
      | | | |-JARL Antarctic station (8J1R[L|M|F])
      | | | +-Individual (8J1AA-AD, 1958-1975)
      | | |
      | | +-Arctic region (8J1NP, 1978)
      | |
      | |-Another Country/Entity: Okinotorishima I. (7J1RL, 1976)
      | |
      | +-Space: Satellite itself (8J1J[A-C]S)
      | |-JARL
      | | |-Specially commemorative station
      | | | |-Regular
      | | | | |-Hamfair (8J1HAM, 8N1HAM, 8J1A)
      | | | | |-ITU Day (8J#ITU, 1977-2003)
      | | | | +-IARU World HF Championship Contest (8J3XHQ, 8J3JHQ, 8N[2|3]JHQ, 8N#HQ)
      | | | |
      | | | +-Approved by the Board
      | | |
      | | +-Special staion (Approved by Chairman)
      | |
      | +-Other amateur organization
      |-ARISS school contact temporary station
      | Permitting a PTT-control by elementary and junior high schoolers without ham radio licenses
      |-Experience temporary station
      | Permitting a talk by persons without ham radio licenses (8J#[Y|Z]$$)
      +-Disaster Relief
        |-1995 South Hyogo Prefecture Earthquake (8J3AAA-AMT)
        +-The 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake (8J1QAA-QLN)

  3. 7J — Foreigners who established their stations 1985-1999
  4. Prefix 7J is for foreign amateurs who reside in Japan under reciprocal permit since Sept. 17, 1985.

    (l-r) 7J1AAD, 7J1AAE, 7J1AAA and 7J1AAB

    But on May 28, 1999, the Japanese authority has announced that, for non-Japanese, they will start to use the same call sign series as the Japanese. No discriminations any more. (But maybe 7J's sound better....) So the 7J prefix will not be issued any more, while existing stations can continue to use their original 7J call signs (in addition, an old holder can bring back his/her expired 7J call sign). They were issued sequentially from 7J#AAA, while 7J6C$$ means 7J's in Okinawa (normally US military). A club station having a foreigner representative which the authority granted since 1993 uses the 7J#Y$$ block.

    7J Stations
    Area Foreigners Licensed before 1999 Special
    Individuals 1985-1999 Clubs 1993-1999 # of Survivors and
    the Last Call Signs
    (As of Apr. 29, 2006)
    17J1AAA-DZZ-7J1BBR7J1YAA-YMZ-7J1YAN62 (7J1BBO)7 (7J1YAK) 
    27J2AAA-CZZ-7J2AIE7J2YAA-YMZ-7J2YAF38 (7J2AIC)1 (7J2YAF) 
    37J3AAA-CZZ-7J3BAE7J3YAA-YMZ-7J3YAK103 (7J3BAC)8 (7J3YAK) 
    47J4AAA-BZZ-7J4AEF7J4YAA-YMZ-7J4YAC17 (7J4ADU)2 (7J4YAC) 
    67J6AAA-BZZ-7J6ADH7J6YAA-YMZ-7J6YAB12 (7J6ADF)1 (7J6YAA) 
    87J8AAA-BZZ-7J8ABB7J8YAA-YMZ-7J8YAA5 (7J8ABB)1 (7J8YAA) 
    07J0AAA-BZZ-7J0ABP7J0YAA-YMZ-7J0YAC4 (7J0ABK)2 (7J0YAC) 
    JD1Included in Area 1 mainland*7J1RL

    *: Actually, "Ogasawara EME Club," 7J1YAM existed in Ogasawara, Aug. 25 - 28, 1998.

    91 individuals and 20 clubs still remain (as of the end of 2019).

    Exception — 7J1RL

    7J1RL had been used for Okino-torishima DXpedition in 1976, before the reciprocal rule began.

  5. 7K-7N — Call Sign Shortage in Area 1
  6. Prefixes 7K1-7N1, 7K2-7N2, 7K3-7N3 and 7K4-7N4 were issued during the call sign shortage era Apr. 23, 1990 - June 20, 2003 for Area 1 (i.e. Not for Area 2, 3 and 4).

  7. 8J — Special Event, ARISS Scool Contact and Experience
  8. Prefix 8J is normally used for
    (1) special event stations,
    (2) ARISS school conatact temporary stations (operational by licenseless elementary and junior high schoolers) and
    (3) experience temporary stations (operational by licenseless persons including adults).

    According to the result of WRC-03 — in Japan, applied on June 24, 2004 — the MIC permitted the applicant to select the any of from "single-" to "five-character" suffix as 8J#$, 8J#*$, 8J#**$, 8J#***$, 8J#****$; 8N#$, 8N#*$, 8N#**$, 8N#***$ or 8N#****$8[J|N][0-9][0-9A-Z]{0,4}[A-Z] in a regular expression —, under the following conditions:

    Special Cases — Unusual Format Call Signs

    On the other hand, up to the present date, we have had seven special-event stations which got unusual format call signs as 8J1WJ, 8J90XPO, 8J2000, 8M2000, 8N2000, 8M1C and 8N23WSJ as exceptions.

    Complete List of Unusual Format Call Signs
    Call SignEventYearActual Call Area
    8J1WJThe 13th Boy Scouts World Jamboree19712
    (Not 1)
    8J90XPOThe International Garden and Greenery Expo19903
    (Not 9)
    8J20002000 AD20001
    (Not 2)
    8M1CFIFA World Cup, Yokohama20021
    8N23WSJThe 23rd Boy Scouts World Jamboree20154
    (Not 2)

    8J1WJ was directly licensed by the Ministry (not by its branch) and was the very first 8J station in Japan's mainland — i.e. except Antarctica. It might be there was no call area concept for a special-event station yet, in such ancient days.

    Exception 1 — Antarctica and Arctica

    Antarctic stations have/had 8J1 call signs (8J1AA-AD, RF, RL and RM). (NOTE: 8J1AD was reused as a commemorative station in mainland Japan in 2014.)

    Likewise, An Arctic expedition station by Nihon University had 8J1NP.

    Exception 2 — Satellites

    The amateur satellites have/had 8J1 call signs (8J1J[A-C]S and 8J1RSP). (NOTE: 8J1RSP was a provisional license... no signals observed from the bird.)

    Exception 3 — Emergency

    1995 South Hyogo Prefecture Earthquake

    8J3AAA-AMT were temporarily licensed and used for emergency communications.

    During the aftermath of Kobe earthquake which occured on Jan. 17, 1995, the JARL and the Japan Amateur Radio Industries Association (JAIA) conducted the effort at the request of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (now "the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications"). JAIA member companies supplied two hundreds (200) hand-held transceivers, followed by additional sixty (60) ones, for 430 and 1260 MHz for the operation. The Ministry orally licensed each of them and assigned a special call sign 8J3AAA, 8J3AAB and so on. All licensees are the JARL.

    Overview of the Emergency Communications Network

    2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake

    8J1QAA-QLN were temporarily licensed and used for emergency communications.

    During the aftermath of Tohoku-Kanto earthquake which occured on Mar. 11, 2011, JAIA supplied two hundreds (200) Icom handy transceivers. Vertex Standard and Alinco, which are both JAIA non-members, also responded with fifty (50) tranceivers each. The Ministry assigned them a special call sign 8J1QAA, 8J1QAB and so on. Though the quake occured at Area 7 offshore, the Kanto (Area 1) Bureau licensed them, on behalf of busy Tohoku Bureau. All licensees are the JARL.

    Disaster Temporary Stations
    Call SignSetsModel
    8J1QIW-8J1QJF10FT-270 (144MHz)
    8J1QJG-8J1QJP10FT-277 (430MHz)

  9. 8M — Special Event Stations, for a suffix alignment
  10. Prefix 8M was exceptionally used only twice, to align a suffix among three stations for a same event.

  11. 8N — Special Event (originally under either of two conditions) and ARISS School Contact
  12. Prefix 8N gradually became popular for special event and ARISS school contact stations. Originally, 2001 and before, it meant, but not mandatorily, a special event station
    (1) having availability to be operated by foreign amateurs without any reciprocal permit, or
    (2) locating in Okinawa as 8N6.

    Having been cleared away such special meanings, nowadays an applicant can select either 8J or 8N without any distinction — nevertheless it would be fact that 8N still implies that "more special than 8J" for us.

    Foreigners Operable

    Before the first ever appearance of an 8N prefix in 8N1WCY in 1983, we had 8J1WJ and 8J3ITU as foreigners operable special event stations.
    After the clearing away of the difference between 8J and 8N, 8J2AI became foreigners operable in 2005. In addition, 8J1XPO in 1985 was also a foreigners operable even its 8J prefix.

    In Okinawa

    Even in this era, prefix 8N6 is not mandatory for Okinawa. In fact, 8J6SMT and 8J6FTY existed in this region in 2000 and 2001 respectively.

    Initial 8N Stations
    YearForeigners OperableIn OkinawaOther 8Ns
    Call signEventCall signEvent
    19718J1WJBoy Scouts World Jamboree  
    19738J3ITUCCIR Kyoto General Meeting  
    1975-1976 JR6RLOkinawa Internatonal Ocean Expo 
    19838N1WCYWorld Amateur Radio Conference  
    19858J1XPOInternational Science and Technologies Expo in Tsukuba '85  
    1991 8N6ARLJARL Annual General Meeting 
    19948N1APTAPT Amateur Radio Seminar  
    8N3ITUITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Kyoto
    19988N0WOGNagano Olympic Winter Game  
    2000 8J6SMTKyushu-Okinawa Summit — Okinawa8N2000 (Special Case)
    2001 8J6FTY40th Anniversary of Amateur Radios in Okinawa 
    8N6WUFWorld Uchinanchu (or Okinawa Prefectual People) Festival
    2002 8N6THY30th Anniversary of the Reversion of Okinawa to Japan8N1C, 8N3C, 8N1HAM, 8N1OGA, 8N2JHQ, 8N3JHQ (JARL HQ-led)
    8N3DNP, 8N3LIO (Non-JARL)
    8N3ISS (ARISS School Contact)
    2003  Completely Generalized:
    8N1HAM, 8N1ISS, 8N1SAI, 8N2JHQ, 8N3HAM, 8N3HES, 8N3ISS, 8N3JHQ, 8N3KAN, 8N4ISS, 8N6ASM
    2004  1-5 Characters Suffix Permitted:
    8N1HQ, 8N1HQ, 8N3HQ, 8N3RI, 8N4HQ, 8N0HQ,
    8N1NGO, 8N3DNP, 8N3HAM, 8N3IKD, 8N3KAN, 8N7EMC, 8N0ITO, 8N0SON
    20058J2AIThe 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan 8N3A, 8N3H, 8N3X,
    8N1HQ, 8N1HQ, 8N2AI, 8N2HQ, 8N2HQ, 8N3HQ, 8N3HQ, 8N4HQ, 8N7HQ, 8N8HQ,
    8N1NGO, 8N3BSN, 8N3DNP, 8N3KAN, 8N380N, 8N5ICT,
    8N1C50A, 8N1MOMO, 8N7JARL, 8N7JPHC,
    8N2005HM, 8N3117EQ, 8N5ARISS, 8N03ARDF

    Exception — 8N2000

    Before 2001, one of the AD2000 memorial station 8N2000 is only one exception. It was neither foreigners operable nor in Okinawa.

[ General ]   [ Prefix ]   [ Suffix ]   [ Special Operation ]   [ 7J-8N ]   [ Designator ]   [ Official Criteria ]   ( callsign.jp )
May 11, 2020, Ryota "Roy" Motobayashi, JJ1WTL