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Programs to Prevent Operation of Unlicensed Radio Stations

1.Crackdown on unlicensed radio stations

Regional telecommunications bureaus independently collect evidence on unlicensed radio stations and file complaints with investigatory authorities. The ministry also cooperates with the police and the Japan Coast Guard to control unlicensed radio stations on streets and at ports.
189 complaints were filed in FY 2019.

2.Recommendations for manufacturers, importers and distributors on TRNDs

The Radio Law imposes obligations for manufacturers, importers, and distributors of wireless devices to make efforts not to manufacture, import or sell wireless devices that do not conform to the technical regulations (Technical Regulations Non-conforming Devices; TRNDs).

The Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications may make recommendations to manufacturers, importers and distributors that manufacture, import or sell TRNDs in order to eliminate harmful interference caused by TRNDs. (The minister issued warnings to 3 companies up until FY2019).

Entities that do not heed such recommendations may have their company name, product name of the TRNDs, and details of the recommendation publicized via a government notice, and newspapers, etc.

After this publication, if it is found that an entity continues to ignore the recommendation, the minister may order that the entity takes measures pertaining to the recommendation.

This system requires the cooperation of companies that handle radio equipment for the realization of a healthy radio wave utilization society.

3.Guidelines for preventing the distribution of wireless devices that do not conform with technical regulations

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has published the Guidelines for preventing the distribution of wireless devices that do not conform with technical regulations.
The purpose of these guidelines is to secure the promotion of public welfare by ensuring the fair and efficient use of radio waves through the suppression of the distribution of DNTR and by securing appropriate information provision when wireless devices are distributed. This is to be achieved by making wireless device manufacturers, importers and distributors fulfill their obligations based on Article 102-11, Paragraph 1 of the Radio Law, as well as by implementing efforts to optimize the manufacture, import and retail of wireless devices and by clarifying the voluntary efforts of Internet shopping mall operators providing online marketplaces for wireless device products, to optimize the online listing of wireless devices.
The main points are as follows.

1. Obligations of wireless device manufacturers, etc.
  • a) 
    Confirmation that wireless devices conform with technical regulations
  • b) 
    Marking for Technical Regulation Conformity Certification, etc., and construction type conformity obligations (manufacture and import)
  • c) 
    Avoid the manufacture, import or selling of DNTR
  • d) 
    Notification of technical regulation conformity information to consignees or purchasers and other measures to confirm conformity
  • e) 
    Avoid the import or selling of wireless devices in the DNTR list
  • f) 
    Notifications to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications regarding DNTRs
  • g) 
    Measures when there are doubts about conformity with the technical regulations
2. Efforts by Internet shopping mall operators
  • a) 
    Request retailers to confirm conformity with the technical regulations
  • b) 
    Request retailers to provide marking with information on conformity with the technical regulations
  • c) 
    Remove online information which does not properly display technical regulation conformity information
  • d) 
    Remove online information on wireless devices in the DNTR list
  • e) 
    Measures when there are doubts about conformity with the technical regulations
  • f) 
    Application of rules

4.Obligations on distributors to provide notifications on license information

Businesses that sell specified radio equipment likely to be used in unlicensed radio stations must notify purchasers of the necessity to obtain a license (either verbally, in writing or via an electronic data notification).

Stores that do not fulfill this obligation may be instructed to take necessary action, as well as, within reason, be penalized for failures to satisfy this obligation, or may be subject to on-the-spot inspections for specified radio equipment, accounting books, documents, etc.

In FY2019, 117 stores were inspected, and the 1 store that did not fulfill its obligations was given administrative guidance.

"Designated radio equipment" refers to radio equipment that uses radio waves of the following frequencies for transmission.

  1. Radio equipment that transmits on frequencies from 26.1 to 28 MHz (illegal citizen radio)
  2. Radio equipment that transmits on frequencies of 144 MHz to 146 MHz or 430 to 440 MHz (illegal amateur radio)
  3. Radio equipment that transmits on frequencies from 889 to 911 MHz (illegal personal radio)
  4. Radio equipment for wireless telephones (illegal mobile phone relay devices) that use frequencies 718 to 748 MHz, 773 to 803 MHz, 815 to 845 MHz, 860 to 890 MHz, 900 to 915 MHz, 945 to 960 MHz, 1,427.9 to 1,462.9 MHz, 1,475.9 to 1,510.9 MHz, 1,710 to 1,785 MHz, 1,805 to 1,880 MHz, 1,920 to 1,980 MHz or 2,110 to 2,170 MHz

However, it does not include:

  1. Radio equipment for radio stations that do not require a license (as stipulated in Article 4 of the Act; weak radio stations, specified low power radio stations, etc.)
  2. Radio equipment that is unlikely to be used for specified illegally established stations (e.g., radio equipment other than radio telephones, radio equipment controlled by base stations, etc.)

Consultation counter for equipment that does not conform to the standards
Radio Technology Association
Phone: 044-951-0491 (Reception hours: Weekdays 09: 30-17: 30)
Website URL: https://reea.or.jp/information/2858/
* The consultation desk service is carried out by the Radio Technology Association based on a contract with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Division in Charge:Radio Monitoring Office