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  4. Manual for Establishment of Radio Stations on Satellites and Earth Stations

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In order to use radio stations on satellites or earth stations of a satellite communications system that mainly perform fixed satellite service in Japan, it is necessary to take the procedures described in the ordinances and regulations of the Radio Law. The main flow of the procedures is as follows.

1.A License is Required to Establish a Radio Station.

(Establishment of Radio Stations)
Article 4.
  Any person who wishes to establish a radio station shall obtain a license from the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications.
(Omitted)

The Radio Law (Law No. 131 of 1950) (hereinafter referred to as "Law") stipulates that any person who wishes to establish a radio station must obtain a license from the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications except for radio stations using an extremely low-power transmitter. Establishment of a radio station means to install radio equipment and for a person who operates the station to make it ready for the transmission of radio waves. However, this shall not include those used solely for receiving purposes (Article 2 item (v) of the Law).

(Definitions)

Article 2.
  With respect to interpreting this Law and orders issued thereunder, the following definitions shall be taken:

v) "Radio station" means a unit of radio equipment with the person(s) to operate radio equipment. However, this shall not include those used solely for receiving purposes.

2.Range of Persons to Whom a Radio Station License is Granted

(Disqualification)
Article 5.

(1) No radio station license shall be granted to:

i) A person not holding Japanese nationality

ii) A foreign government or its representative

iii) A foreign juridical person or organization

iv) A juridical person or organization which is represented by any person referred to in the preceding three items, or one third or more of the officers of which are such persons, or one third or more of the voting rights of which are made up of the aggregate of voting rights held by such persons.

(2) The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not apply to the following radio stations.

(Omitted)

vii) Radio stations established for the purpose of conducting telecommunications service

(3) A radio station license may not be granted to any of the following persons.

i) Any person who has been sentenced to a fine or severer penalty for a crime provided in this Law or the Broadcast Law (Law No. 132 of 1950), if a period of two years has not elapsed since the day the sentence was served out or the suspension of such sentence expired.

ii) Any person whose radio station license was revoked, if a period of two years has not elapsed since the day of the revocation.

iii) Any person whose attestation was revoked, under the provisions of Article 27-15 paragraph (1) (except item iii)), if a period of two years has not elapsed since the day of the revocation.

(Omitted)

A person not holding Japanese nationality, a foreign government or its representative, or a foreign juridical person or organization cannot obtain a radio station license. However, this shall not apply to radio stations established for the purpose of providing telecommunications service. Furthermore, the conditions under which a person who provides telecommunications service can be a licensee are set forth in the Radio Law Related Examination Criteria, as follows.

(1) Satellite stations

A telecommunications carrier specified in Article 2 item (v) of the Telecommunications Business Law (Law No. 86 of 1984) or a person who provides a telecommunications service specified in Article 164 paragraph (1) item (i) or item (ii) (hereinafter referred to as a "telecommunication carrier"). (For details of the provisions, refer to the competent ordinance posted on the Ministry website.

(2) Earth stations

1) A telecommunications carrier to whom a license for a satellite station (including a radio station on a satellite which has been authorized by a competent administration) has been granted or is expected to be granted and who establishes an earth station which constitutes a communications system along with said satellite station, etc.

2) A telecommunications carrier who has concluded with a telecommunications carrier, etc. a contract, etc. (meaning a contract with regard to the line connection or sharing between the telecommunications equipment of a satellite and the telecommunications equipment of an earth station or the provision of a wholesale telecommunications service or any other contract equivalent to it; hereinafter the same shall apply.) under which it is made possible to provide telecommunications service via a satellite with regard to the satellite station which constitutes a communications system along with an earth station which the telecommunications carrier is going to establish.

(3) No radio station license will be granted to a person or organization specified above who has committed a violation of ordinances and regulations.

3.Submission of an Application for a Radio Station License

(Application for a License)

Article 6.

(1) Any person who wishes to obtain a radio station license shall submit to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications an application together with a document describing the following items:

i) Purpose

ii) Reason for the need to establish the radio station

iii) Person(s) with whom the radio communications is conducted and communications subjects

iv) Location of radio equipment (meaning, of mobile stations, for satellites, the orbit or the position, and for those other than satellite stations, radio stations on board ship, ship earth stations (meaning radio stations established on board ship for the purpose of telecommunications service and of conducting radio communications via satellite stations; hereinafter the same shall apply.), radio stations on board aircraft (except that which conducts radio communications solely via satellite stations, the same shall apply in paragraph (4)) and aircraft earth stations (meaning radio stations established on board aircraft and of conducting radio communications solely via satellite stations; hereinafter the same shall apply.), the operating area; hereinafter the same shall apply except in Article 18.).

v) Type of radio waves, desirable frequency range and antenna power.

vi) Desirable operation-permitted hours (meaning hours during which the operation is possible; hereinafter the same shall apply.).

vii) Construction design, and scheduled completion date of the construction of the radio equipment (including equipment installed in accordance with the provisions of Articles 30 and 32; the same shall apply to item ii) of the following paragraph, Article 10 paragraph (1), Article 12, Article 17, Article 18, Article 24-2 paragraph (4), the proviso of Article 73 paragraph (1), Article 73 paragraph (5) and Article 102-18 paragraph (1)).

viii) Expected commencement date of operation.

(2) to (5) (Omitted)

(6) Any person who wishes to obtain a license for a satellite station shall enter scheduled launching time, term of normal operation, and area of position enabling its station to fulfill the mission in the document of paragraph (1) or (2), in addition to the particulars referred to in the same paragraphs.

(7) Any application for radio station (except those specified in the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) which falls under any of the following items, and which uses frequency of which the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications issues a public notice, shall be submitted within the period specified in the public notice of the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications.

(Omitted)

iii) A satellite station established for the purpose of conducting telecommunication service.

(Omitted)

(8) The period under the preceding paragraph shall be one month or longer by each frequency band, and the public notice of the period under the provisions of the same paragraph shall also include the zone area where the applicant for radio station license may install radio equipment of the radio station, or other particulars for convenience of license application.

An applicant for a radio station license shall submit the following documents:

Unlike an applicant for other radio stations, any person who wishes to obtain a license for a satellite station shall enter scheduled launching time, term of normal operation and area of position enabling the station to fulfill the mission. Furthermore, any application for a license for a satellite station established for the purpose of conducting telecommunications service and which uses emissions of a frequency which the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications issues a public notice shall be submitted within the period specified in the public notice of the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications. Satellite station- related frequencies in the public notice are as specified in Attachment 1. Moreover, a special case (a blanket license system) for a license for a specified radio station has been introduced. An application for a VSAT earth station (one that has been certified as satisfying the requirements prescribed in Article 54-3 paragraph (1) or Article 54-3 paragraph (2) of the Ordinance Regulating Radio Equipment) falls under the special case among satellite related radio stations. Any person who applies for a license for a specified radio station must submit the following documents:

An application form and accompanying documents can be downloaded from the Radio Use website . It is also possible to make an on-line application for a license for a specified radio station from the Electronic application / notification system . The main order of license procedures is as specified in Attachment 2.

4.Examination of Applications

(Examination of Applications)

Article 7.

(1) When receiving an application of paragraph (1) of the preceding article, without delay, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications shall examine whether it conforms to all of the following items:

i) TThe conformity of the construction design to the technical regulations specified in Chapter III.

ii) The feasibility of frequency assignment.

iii) In addition to particulars referred to in the preceding two items, the conformity to the essential standards for establishment of radio stations (except the radio stations to broadcast (except radio stations for the purpose of conducting telecommunications service)) specified in the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

(Omitted)

(6) When deemed necessary in examining an application, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications may request the applicant to appear in person or submit any additional information.

When receiving an application, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications examines the following matters therein:

(1) Conformity of the construction design to the technical regulations specified in Chapter III of the Radio Law (from Article 28 to Article 38 of the Radio Law)

(2) The feasibility of frequency assignment

As a reference for applicants for a license, etc., a list of available frequencies has been publicly announced as a frequency assignment plan(Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications Announcement No. 746 of 2000) based on Article 26 of the Radio Law. The C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band used for satellite communications can be used for the purpose of conducting telecommunications service or public service.

From 1-2 of General Provisions for Frequency Assignment Plan

I Commercial Telecommunication Service
Radio stations that are established for purpose of providing telecommunication services by telecommunications carriers under the provision of Article 2 Paragraph 6, Article 90 Paragraph 1 (1) or (2) of the Telecommunications Business Law (Law No.86 of 1984). They also include some geostationary satellite for transmitting radio communications between places outside Japan.

II Public Service
Radio stations that are established for the purpose of protecting human life and property, preserving public order and carrying out any other kind of public service. Broadcast auxiliary radio stations are not included.

(3) The conformity of a radio station other than broadcasting station (excluding a radio station used for the purpose of conducting telecommunications service) to the Essential Standards for establishing it. (The Essential Standards for Establishing Radio Stations other than Broadcasting Stations (Radio Regulatory Commission Rules No. 12 of 1950)).

When judging, as a result of having examined all of the above, that the contents of the application comply with all that is stated above, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications issues a pre-permit to the applicant. Additionally, a pre-permit is granted for an application for a radio station (a satellite station established for the purpose of conducting telecommunications service, except the one prescribed in the ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications), specified in Article 6 paragraph 7 of the Radio Law and which uses emissions of a frequency which the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications announces publicly, when the application is examined in accordance with any relevant ordinances and regulations based on the examination criteria that the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications publicly announces and the contents of the application are judged to comply with all of the conditions for the said examination criteria. The Radio Law-related examination criteria stipulate applicable matters as to whether a radio station license may be granted or not.

5.Inspection after Completion of Construction Work

(Inspection after Completion of Construction Work)

Article 10.

(1) A person who has obtained a pre-permit of Article 8 shall, when the construction work has been completed, submit a notification to the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications and obtain the inspection for the radio equipment, the qualifications of radio operators (including that which is related to requirements of radio operators in full charge provided in Article 39 paragraph (3), ship station radio operator attestation of Article 48-2 paragraph (1), distress traffic operators provided in Article 50 paragraph (1); the same shall apply to Articles 12), the necessary number of radio operators, timepiece and documents (hereinafter referred to as "radio equipment, etc.").

(2) A part of the inspection of the preceding paragraph may be omitted where a person who wishes to have the inspection of the same paragraph submits to the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications documents on which the results of an inspection on the radio equipment, etc., conducted by the person registered under Article 24-2 paragraph (1) or Article 24-13 paragraph (1) in accordance with the provisions of the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications are entered.

A person who has obtained a pre-permit shall submit a notification to the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications upon completion of construction work, have the radio equipment inspected, and obtain the qualifications of radio operators, the necessary number of radio operators, timepiece and documents. When judging, as a result of having examined all of the above, that the radio equipment complies with the structural design for which a pre-permit has been issued, and that the radio operators, timepiece and documents are not in violation of any of the ordinances and regulations, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications issues a license to the applicant. However, the applicant can make use of the system stipulating that the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications can omit a part of the inspection where the applicant submits a document in which are stated the results of the inspection on the radio equipment, etc. conducted by a registered inspector (or a foreign registered inspector) who has obtained registration from the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications.

6.Valid Term of Radio Station License

(Valid Term of Licenses)

Article 13.

(1) TThe valid term of licenses for radio stations shall be specified in the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications within five years calculated from the day of a license granted. However, renewal may be allowed.

(Omitted)

There is a valid term for a radio station license. The valid term is the period specified in the ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications within five years calculated from the day of the license granted. Additionally it is possible to obtain renewal of the license. It is also possible to make a specified period within five years a valid term for a radio station license, if so desired by an applicant.

7.Simplified Licensing Procedures

(Simplified Licensing Procedures)

Article 15.
  Irrespective of the provisions of Articles 6 and Articles 8 through 12, the simplified procedures may apply, as specified in the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, to renewing a license in accordance with the proviso in Article 13 paragraph (1) and to a license for a radio station which solely uses radio equipment with conformity mark, or to a license for other radio stations specified in the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications .

It is possible to obtain a license for a radio station which solely uses radio equipment bearing a mark indicating conformity, such as VSAT earth station, by means of the simplified licensing procedures which omit a "pre-permit" or an "inspection after completion of construction work." Furthermore, the simplified licensing procedures which omit a "pre-permit" or an "inspection after completion of construction work" may apply to an application for a license for the specified radio station defined in Article 27-2 of the Law.

8.License for Specified Radio Station

(Special Case of a License for the Specified Radio Station)

Article 27-2.
  A person who wishes to operate more than two radio stations which are specified in the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and use only the Radio Equipment with the Mark Indicating Conformity of radio stations emitting only the radio waves of frequencies automatically selected by receiving the radio waves from a radio station with which radio communications is conducted (hereinafter referred to as "specified radio station"), may apply for a blanket license for these specified radio stations in accordance with the provisions of the following article through Article 27-11, where such specified radio stations share the same purpose, same person with whom radio communications is conducted, same type of radio waves and frequency, and same regulations of radio equipment (solely those specified in the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications).

For a radio station operated under the control of a person with whom radio communications is conducted and which uses radio equipment bearing a mark indicating conformity, it is possible to obtain a license for a specified radio station. The VSAT earth station in the satellite system falls under the special case of a license for the specified radio station. The simplified licensing procedures may apply where the applicant obtains a license for the VSAT earth station as a specified radio station, as specified above.

9.Requirements for Satellite Stations

(Requirements for Satellite Stations)

Article 36-2.

(1) Radio equipment of satellite stations shall be capable of ceasing emissions immediately by remote control.

(2) The radio equipment of satellite stations shall be capable of being remotely controlled to change their location. However, this shall not apply to the satellite stations specified in the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Unlike other radio stations, satellite stations are obligated to be remotely controlled to cease operation of the radio equipment and to change their installation location (orbit or position).

10.Radio Operators

(Operation of Radio Equipment)

Article 39.

(1) No other person than the radio operator who is allowed to engage in the operation of radio equipment in accordance with the provisions of Article 40 (meaning radio operators who hold the ship radio operator attestation of Article 48-2 paragraph (1), with respect to the operation of radio equipment of a compulsory ship station, etc. which is specified in the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; the same shall apply in this article) may operate radio equipment (except easy-to-operate radio equipment specified in the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) unless the person is under the control of anyone who is appointed as a supervisor (hereinafter referred to as "radio operator in full charge") to operate radio equipment of a radio station (except amateur radio station; the same shall apply in this article) and has notified the appointment in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (4). However, this shall not apply to the case where a ship or aircraft is unable to supplement any radio operator due to being in navigation, or which is specified in the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

(Omitted)

Any person who wishes to establish a radio station shall, in principle, station radio operators. This means that no one other than, in principle, the person under the supervision of a radio operator or a radio operator in full charge is allowed to operate the radio equipment of a radio station. However, the radio equipment of a radio station under the control of a radio operator of any other kind of radio station, such as a VSAT earth station, may be operated by personnel not qualified to operate the radio equipment.

11.Periodical Inspection

(Inspection)

Article 73.

(1) The Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications shall dispatch the ministerial staffs to radio stations (except those specified in the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) and order them to inspect the radio equipment, etc. on the day notified in advance at regular intervals specified in the applicable ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. However, with respect to radio stations for which the Minister determines it unnecessary to inspect particulars other than radio equipment related to quality of emitted radio waves or antenna power, the quality of emitted radio waves or antenna power of the radio stations shall be inspected by instructing them to emit radio waves.

(2) to (6) (Omitted)

All licensees are obligated to undergo a periodical inspection by the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications. An example is, for a radio station established for the purpose of maintaining the orbital position of a satellite and retaining the attitude thereof, inspection must be performed annually and, for an earth station established for the purpose of conducting telecommunications service, inspection must be performed at intervals of every five years. For a satellite station, inspection must be performed annually regardless of its purpose.

12.Collection of Fees

(Collection of Fees)

Article 103.

(1) Any person who falls under any of the following items shall pay, in accordance with the provisions of the cabinet order, the amount of fees which shall be specified in the cabinet order taking actual expenses into account to the Government (for a person who undergoes the training courses conducted by a designated training agency, to said designated training agency; for a person who undergoes the state examinations for radio operators qualifications which a designated examinations executing agency executes in place of the Government, to said designated examinations executing agency; or for a person who undergoes the calibration conducted by the Research Laboratory, to the Research Laboratory).

i) A person who applies for a license under the provisions of Article 6.

ii) A person who conducts an inspection under the provisions of Article 10.

iii) A person who conducts an inspection under the provisions of Article 18 (except a person who has obtained permission under Article 17 paragraph (1) due to the designation being changed pursuant to the provisions of Article 71 paragraph (1)).

(Omitted.)

A person who submits an application for a license, undergoes an inspection of a radio station, or implements the like, must pay fees to the Government in the form of a revenue stamp in accordance with the provisions of Cabinet order. For example, the case of establish a satellite station with an antenna power of 50 W, the fee is 14,600 yen (14,500 yen in the case of an on-line application,). In the case of establishing a mobile earth station with an antenna power of 50W, the fee is 14,600 yen (14,500 yen in the case of an on-line application,). For detailed information, refer to the "List of the license application fee" in the Radio Use website.

13.Collection of Spectrum User Fee, Etc.

(Collection of spectrum User Fee, Etc.)

Article 103-2.

(1) Licensees, etc. shall pay to the Government the amount of money specified in the right column of the Table 6 attached hereto corresponding to the categories of radio stations in the left column of the same table, as the Spectrum User Fee, within 30 days calculated from the date of licensing or within 30 days calculated from the date corresponding to it in each subsequent year (substituted for by the day following to that day, where there is no day corresponding to it; referred to as "the corresponding day" hereinafter in this article). The amount of money shown in the following table is for the one-year period beginning from the date of licensing of the radio station or the corresponding day (referred to as "initial date of reckoning" in this paragraph), although where this period begins from March 1 of the preceding year to leap year under the condition that the date of licensing is February 29, the period shall be substituted for by the period from March 1 to February 28 of the following year; and in cases where the period from the initial date of reckoning to the date on which the license of the radio station expires is less than a year, the period shall be substituted for by that period. In the latter cases, the amount of money shall be the product of the amount of money in the table multiplied by the number, which is obtained by dividing the number of the months of this period by 12.

(Omitted.)

Any licensee of a radio station shall pay the amount separately set forth to the Government, in principle, for each radio station and every year within the valid term of the radio station license. For instance, the Spectrum User Fee for a VSAT earth station for which a licensee has obtained a blanket license is 540 yen per station. For further details, refer to the "Spectrum User Fee Schedule" posted on the Radio Use website.

14.Procedures Stipulated in the Radio Regulations (RR)

In order to build and operate a satellite communications network, the international coordination and notification procedures stipulated in the Radio Regulations (RR), as the Administrative Regulations specified in the Constitution of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), are required. Thus, when anyone applies for a license for a satellite station and/or an earth station, condition of international coordination with the plan of a relevant competent administration or the satellite communications network in operation is examined by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Therefore, it is necessary that the satellite communications network can be operated based on international coordination. When the territory of any other competent administration is included in the coordination area of an earth station for which a license is applied, it is necessary to coordinate with said competent administration. For more information on the international coordination process, refer to the "Frequency Coordination" section of the Radio Use website.

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Copyright(C)Telecommunications Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications All Rights Reserved.