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  1. Unassignable Suffixes
  2. Any call sign having the following letters as the suffix is not assignable.

     OSOEmargency Signal
     QRA-QTZQ Codes (cf.  US blocks QRA-QUZ.)
     SOSDistress Signal
     TTTSafety Signal (Important navigational or meteorological warning message)
     XXXUrgency Signal (Very urgent message)
    cf. YAA-ZZZClub Stations (and Repeaters)

    But at an early stage — and even recent days as a mistake for 7L4TTT (now he is 7L4WWW) — some authority's branches issued some OSO, TTT and XXX suffixes. Only JA9TTT is still alive.

    Variation of the Q-Code Related Withheld Range

  3. Clubs — Suffixes YAA-ZZZ
  4. Suffixes YAA-ZZZ are reserved for club stations. Therefore, any club station in Japan should have a six-character call sign. (This may be a disadvantage in contests. The Japanese authority does not provide shorter call signs for this purpose.)
    JR6YAA-ZZZ for club stations in Okinawa,
    JD1YAA-ZZZ for those in Ogasawara and
    7J#YAA-YMZ for foreigners' first licensed 1993-1999 (7J6YNA-YQZ for Okinawa).

    A complete listing of club stations is HERE: ja-club20110326.xls for those interested (in Japanese, 1MB, as of Mar. 26, 2011).

    Exception 1 — Repeaters and Their Controllers

    JP#YAA-ZZZ and JQ6YAA-ZZZ in Okinawa are allocated to repeaters and their controllers.

    YAA-ZZZ Suffix Repeaters (See "Special Operation")
    JQ6YAA-YZZ (Okinawa)
    JQ6ZAA-ZZZ (Okinawa)
    Remote Controller for Repeater

    Exception 2 — Special Event Stations / ARISS School Contact Temporary Stations / Experience Temporary Stations

    8J / 8N special event stations and ARISS School Contact temporary stations may happen to choose their suffix from YAA-ZZZ.

    Experience temporary stations are sequentially assigned 8J#YAA-ZZZ call signs.

  5. Single Letter Suffixes
  6. Surprisingly enough, the authority permitted epoch-making "two-by-one" call signs for the stations commemorating FIFA World Cup in 2002.

    Single Letter Suffix Call Signs in Early Days
    Call SignLocationEventYear
    8J1CIbarakiFIFA World Cup2002

    On June 24, 2004, single letter suffix 8J#$ and 8N#$ became to be officially assignable under the new criteria. The first example is 8N6A on July 6, 2004.

  7. Two Characters Suffixes
  8. Two characters suffixes were assigned only for JA# (very old timers) and JR6 (fairly old timers in Okinawa) prefixes. No JH#AA, JE#AA, .... , JS#AA stations. However, there are some exceptions for JR# repeater stations and 7J / 8J special event or Antarctica stations. The suffix RL means a JARL station.

    Two Letters Suffix Stations in JA
    Call SignRemarks
    JA#AA-RK,RM-ZZIndividuals except Okinawa 
    JA1RLJARL central station
    (W1AW equivalent)
    JA[2-0]RLJARL district stations 
    JR#WA-WZ,VA-VZRepeaters except Okinawa 
    JR6AA-MEIndividuals in Okinawa (ex KR8AA-ME) 
    JR6RLJARL Okinawa district station 
    JR6YA-YYRepeaters in Okinawa 
    7J1RLOkino-torishima DXpedition1976
    8J1AA-ADAntarctica (Individuals)1958-1975
    8J1NPNorth Pole Expedition1978
    8J1RF,RL-RMJARL Antarctic stationsRM closed
    8J1WJBoy Scouts World Jamboree1971
    8N3RIRotary International 2004 Osaka Convention2004

    On June 24, 2004, two character suffixes 8J#*$ and 8N#*$ became to be officially assignable under the new criteria. The first example is 8N#HQ on July 3, 2004.

    Experimental Stations

    We amateurs are not alone. In Japan, experimental stations also use the same two-by-two format call signs (J$#$$), and two-by-ones (J$#$).

    Call Sign Format including the Call Area Number
    two-by-oneJS2HExperimental Station
    Experimental Station
    Amateur Station
    two-by-threeJA1AAAAmateur Station

    An example above, JS2H was an experimental VHF FM broadcast station in 1960 — aka JS2AO 1958-1960 — and in its later years, it became FM Tokyo, JOAU-FM.

    Some of the good examples for us are as follows:

    • 1.8MHz Band Acquisition Trial (1963)
      • JS2A in Shimizu Port in Shizuoka, to prove that there is no bad influence of amateurs to LORAN (LOng-RAnge Navigation)
    • Dummy Satellite Communication System (1976)
      • JS3AK: Dummy transponder at the top of Mt. Fuji
      • JS3AL: Controller in Asagiri-kogen Park
      • JS3AM at the JARL Tokai Office in Nagoya
      • JS2FK at the JARL HQ in Tokyo
    • QRO Field Test (1996)
      • JS2HM for a field test toward our 1kW output ticket, which is QROed from the previous 500W limitation
    • cf. D-STAR Experimental (2001-2003?), used not Call Sign but Call Name
      • JARL Jikken 1: a relay station, 1200MHz and 10GHz
      • JARL Jikken 2: a relay station, 1200MHz and 10GHz
      • JARL Jikken 10-19: terminal stations, 1200MHz (Digital Voice ... 5, Data .... 5)
      • JARL Jikken 20-29: terminal stations, 1200MHz
      • JARL Jikken 30-31: terminal stations, 1200MHz AMBE

    In addition, JG2AS has been a WWVB-equivalent long wave standard frequency station in Japan (now changed to JJY).

    Please reminded that these stations were not defined as "amateur stations" but "experimental stations." There are some differences on the area numbers between experimental stations and amateurs, because ITU prohibits 0 and 1 for an experimental station.

    Numeral for Each Branch
    CategoryKantoShin'etsuTokaiHokurikuKinki ChugokuShikokuKyushuTohokuHokkaidoOkinawa
    Experimental Station22334567897
    Amateur Station10293456786

  9. Four Characters Suffixes
  10. A four-character suffix call sign is assigned only for a special event station as 8J#***$ or 8N#***$ since June 24, 2004. The first example is 8J4ARDF on July 17, 2004.

  11. Five Characters Suffixes
  12. A five-character suffix call sign is assigned only for a special event station as 8J#****$ or 8N#****$ since June 24, 2004 according to the result of WRC-03. The first example is 8N3ARISS on July 7, 2004. Though ITU doesn't limit the length of a special call sign, Japan limits a suffix up to five characters.

    Call Sign Formats after WRC-03 and -07
    Nationality Identification Ordinary CaseSpecial Occasion
    ITU RRJapanITU RRJapan
    Suffix LengthUpto 4 Characters,
    While Upto 3 Characters for "Half Series" Countries
    2 or 3 CharactersNo LimitationUpto 5 Characters
    Single Letter
    (i.e. B, F, G, I, K, M, N, R, W)
    $#* ... *$
    Two Characters   **#$,
    **#* ... *$ 8[J|N]#$,
    "Half Series"
    (Three Characters,
    e.g. 3DA)
    (Suffix: Upto 3 Characters)
    ***#* ... *$

  13. cf. The Longest Call Sign World Record
  14. 14 Characters


[ General ]   [ Prefix ]   [ Suffix ]   [ Special Operation ]   [ 7J-8N ]   [ Designator ]   [ Official Criteria ]   ( )
Apr. 29, 2020, Ryota "Roy" Motobayashi, JJ1WTL