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Japan News Network

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Japan News Network
TypeBroadcast television network
Founded1 August 1959[1]: 150–151 
OwnerTBS Television
Official website
Official website

The Japan News Network (JNN; Japanese: ジャパン・ニュース・ネットワーク, romanizedJapan Nyūsu Nettowāku) is a Japanese commercial television network run by TBS Television, owned by TBS Holdings (which is a part of the major conglomerate Mitsui Group). The network's responsibility includes the syndication of national television news bulletins to its regional affiliates, and news exchange between the stations. Its affiliate stations also broadcast non-news programs originating from TBS Television. Founded on 1 August 1959,[1]: 150–151  JNN is made up of 28 full-time affiliates.

It also operates the 24-hour satellite and cable news channel TBS News and the FAST Channel TBS NEWS DIG.[2]



Initial news exchange agreement


In 1956, when there were only four commercial television stations in Japan (Nippon Television, Tokyo Radio and Television (hereinafter referred to as KRT), Osaka Television Broadcasting, and Chubu Nippon Broadcasting), the television network was quite loose. Nippon Television and KRT in Tokyo had to sell their programs to the two commercial stations (Osaka TV Broadcasting and Chubu Nippon Broadcasting) outside of Tokyo as much as possible in order to recoup their production costs and meet the needs of advertisers. This puts the two stations in an advantageous position by allowing them to freely choose the programs they want to syndicate.[3]: 100 [4]: 7 On 15 November 1956, four commercial television stations signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Television Broadcasting Program Exchange among Four Companies, which specifically stipulated matters related to the syndication of programs.[4]: 11–12 Later, Hokkaido Broadcasting and RKB Mainichi Broadcasting joined the agreement, and the four-company agreement was expanded to a six-company agreement. There were no major changes in the contents of the agreement at that time.[4]: 12 

The agreement later expanded into 10 member stations as Sanyo Broadcasting, Nishinippon Broadcasting, Yomiuri TV, and Television Nishinippon joined into the agreement. With that, the contents of the agreement were drastically changed, centering on special contributions.[4]: 12–13 In October 1957, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications issued licenses for 34 commercial TV broadcasters as it became the period of rapid expansion of commercial broadcasters in Japan.[4]: 18–19  The opening of commercial television outside the metropolitan area meant that the importance of interconnection was increasing.[4]: 22–23 During this period, only a limited number of frequencies available were allocated to few broadcasters, resulting in limited affiliation options for the succeeding broadcasters.[4]: 23–24 

In October 1958, Osaka Television Broadcasting, RKB Mainichi Broadcasting, and Sanyo Broadcasting were explicitly part of the same syndication as KRT, while the Nippon Television syndication consisted of Yomiuri TV, Television Nishinippon, and Nishinippon Broadcasting, and the other three were cross-networked with a slight advantage for KRT.[4]: 23 

At that time, Nippon Television, which had its own highlight programs such as baseball broadcasts, was trying to expand its network through the broadcasting rights of sports events.[4]: 24  In response to the increasing competition with the broadcaster at that time, it then aired drama and news programming.[4]: 24 The lack of nationwide coverage for commercial broadcasting in Japan makes it even more crucial for local operators to work together while gathering news.[4]: 24–25 In June 1958, KRT, Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting System, Osaka Television Broadcasting, RKB Mainichi Broadcasting, and Hokkaido Broadcasting began to exchange news materials through a network agreement.[4]: 25 

Establishment of Japan News Network


The broadcast of the wedding of Crown Prince Akihito (later the 125th Emperor, now Emperor Emeritus) and Crown Princess Michiko (now Empress Emerita) on 1 April 1959, played an important role in bringing about the final signing of the news agreement.[4]: 33–36  On 1 August 1959, with the signing of the new news agreement, the first true national commercial TV network in the country - Japan News Network - was formally established.[4]: 1 

The charter members of the network were: KRT (now known as TBS Television), the network flagship station, Hokkaido Broadcasting, Tohoku Broadcasting, Shizuoka Broadcasting, Shin-etsu Broadcasting, Broadcasting System of Niigata, Hokuriku Broadcasting, Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting, Osaka Television Broadcasting (which later merged with Asahi Broadcasting Corporation), Nihonkai Telecasting, Sanyo Broadcasting, RCC Broadcasting, RKB Mainichi Broadcasting, Nagasaki Broadcasting, Kumamoto Broadcasting, and Minaminihon Broadcasting.[4]: 1–2 Upon the establishment, it already had 16 stations or covered about 80% of Japan's population at that time.[4]: 1–2 Prior to its establishment, there were proposed names for the network which includes Sakura News Network and All-Japan News Network (not to be confused with All-Nippon News Network, which was established in 1970), but it then adopted the current name at the end.[4]: 2  As stipulated in the network agreement:

  • TBS and the member affiliates of the JNN network agreed, upon the creation of JNN, to share news information between the networks while providing both national content for JNN programming produced by TBS and regional news items for their respective programs within their broadcast markers
  • TBS' non-news programming are to be aired on the JNN network as well
  • TBS prohibited the regional members from airing programming, including news, from its competitor stations

In the early days, each station was free to replace the title of the news program, but on 31 March 1975, after the affiliation change in Kansai from Asahi Broadcasting TV to Mainichi Broadcasting, all network member stations' news branding was unified on the JNN system, with TBS-produced newscasts airing on the regional stations while regional broadcasters provided local content and reporters and news crews for the national programs.[4]: 149–152 

LCN assignments of JNN affiliates

Until 1992 (when i-Television in Ehime became the last broadcaster to be affiliated with JNN), multiple broadcasters either dropped their affiliation with JNN (such as Nihonkai Telecasting when Broadcasting System of San-in started broadcasting[4]: 38 ) or have joined JNN upon their establishment (such as Iwate Broadcasting Company,[4]: 38  Ryukyu Broadcasting,[4]: 38  and Aomori Television[4]: 153–156 ). At present, it consists of 28 full-time stations. There are no JNN member stations in Akita, Fukui, Tokushima, and Saga prefectures.

List of affiliates


Stations are listed mostly in Japanese order of prefectures which is mirrored in ISO 3166-2:JP, with exceptions for the Kantō region, Aichi-Gifu-Mie, Kansai region (except Mie), Tottori-Shimane and Okayama-Kagawa, which form single wide broadcasting markets respectively. Some broadcasters listed here also have radio operations (either under a single company or as a subsidiary of its holding company).

Broadcasting area(s) Station LCN Start date of
Date of
Prefecture Region On air branding Abbr. Call sign
Hokkaidō Hokkaidō Hōsō HBC JOHR-DTV 1 1 April 1957 1 August 1959 Core station
Aomori Tōhoku Aomori TV ATV JOAI-DTV 6 1 December 1969 31 March 1975
Iwate Tōhoku Iwate Hōsō IBC JODF-DTV 6 1 September 1959 1 September 1959
Miyagi Tōhoku Tohoku Hōsō tbc JOIR-DTV 1 1 April 1959 1 August 1959
Yamagata Tōhoku TV-U Yamagata TUY JOWI-DTV 6 1 October 1989 1 October 1989
Fukushima Tōhoku TV-U Fukushima TUF JOKI-DTV 6 4 December 1983 1 October 1983
Kantō region TBS TV TBS JORX-DTV 6 1 April 1955 1 August 1959 Eastern flagship station; core station
Niigata Chūbu Niigata Hōsō BSN JODR-DTV 6 24 December 1958 1 August 1959
Toyama Chūbu Tulip TV TUT JOJH-DTV 6 1 October 1990 1 October 1990
Ishikawa Chūbu Hokuriku Hōsō MRO JOMR-DTV 6 1 December 1958 1 August 1959
Yamanashi Chūbu TV Yamanashi UTY JOGI-DTV 6 1 April 1970 1 April 1970
Nagano Chūbu Shin-etsu Hōsō SBC JOSR-DTV 6 25 October 1958 1 August 1959
Shizuoka Chūbu Shizuoka Hōsō SBS JOVR-DTV 6 1 November 1958 1 August 1959
Aichi and Gifu Chūbu CBC TV CBC JOGX-DTV 5 1 December 1956 1 August 1959 Core station
Mie Kansai
Kansai region (except Mie) MBS TV MBS JOOY-DTV 4 1 March 1959 31 March 1975 Western flagship station; core station
Tottori and Shimane Chūgoku San-in Hōsō BSS JOHF-DTV 6 15 December 1959 15 December 1959
Hiroshima Chūgoku RCC Broadcasting RCC JOER-DTV 3 1 April 1959 1 August 1959
Yamaguchi Chūgoku TV Yamaguchi tys JOLI-DTV 3 1 April 1970 1 April 1970
Okayama Chūgoku San-yō Hōsō RSK JOYR-DTV 6 1 June 1958 1 August 1959
Kagawa Shikoku
Ehime Shikoku i-TV ITV JOEH-DTV 6 1 October 1992 1 October 1992
Kōchi Shikoku TV Kochi KUTV JORI-DTV 6 1 April 1970 1 April 1970
Fukuoka Kyūshū RKB Mainichi Hōsō rkb JOFR-DTV 4 1 March 1958 1 August 1959 Core station
Nagasaki Kyūshū Nagasaki Hōsō NBC JOUR-DTV 3 1 January 1959 1 August 1959
Kumamoto Kyūshū Kumamoto Hōsō RKK JOBF-DTV 3 1 April 1959 1 August 1959
Ōita Kyūshū Oita Hōsō OBS JOGF-DTV 3 1 October 1959 1 October 1959
Miyazaki Kyūshū Miyazaki Hōsō MRT JONF-DTV 6 1 October 1960 1 October 1960
Kagoshima Kyūshū Minaminihon Hōsō MBC JOCF-DTV 1 1 April 1959 1 August 1959
Okinawa Kyūshū Ryūkyū Hōsō RBC JORR-DTV 3 1 June 1960 15 May 1972
Nationwide (Broadcasting Satellite) BS-TBS BS-TBS N/A 6 1 December 2000 1 December 2000

Areas without a JNN station

Prefecture Region Station(s) from neighbouring prefecture News gathering
Akita Tōhoku IBC (Iwate) ATV (Ōdate), TUY (from Nikaho to Oga), IBC (rest of Akita) and tbc (certain big events)
Fukui Chūbu MRO (Ishikawa) and MBS (Kansai region) MRO (Reihoku region and Tsuruga City; also handled by CBC in certain cases) and MBS (Reinan region except Tsuruga City)
Tokushima Shikoku MBS (Kansai region) and RSK (Okayama and Kagawa) MBS Tokushima Bureau
Saga Kyūshū RKB (Fukuoka) RKB

Former affiliate stations


Single asterisk (*) indicates former primary affiliate

Broadcasting area(s) Station Ch. Years of
Current JNN
Prefecture Region On air branding Abbr. Call sign
Fukushima Tōhoku Fukushima TV* FTV JOPX-TV 11 1971–1983 FNN/FNS TUF [note 1]
Kansai region (except Mie) Asahi Hōsō* ABC JONR-TV 6 1959–1975 ANN MBS [note 2]
Tottori and Shimane Chūgoku Nihonkai TV* NKT JOJX-TV 1 1959 NNN/NNS BSS [note 3]
  1. ^ Affiliated with JNN from 1 June 1971 to 31 March 1983. Owing to network decisions, it changed networks to FNN/FNS. JNN programming returned to Fukushima in December of that year when TUF launched.[5]: 30 
  2. ^ Affiliated with JNN from 1 August 1959 to 30 March 1975. Swapped networks with MBS, which at the time was with ANN, owing to shareholder issues with the network.[6]: 105, 125, 201–206 
  3. ^ Affiliated with JNN from 1 August 1959 to 14 December 1959. Changed networks to NTV when BSS started broadcasting and took TBS's programming.[7]: 30 

Affiliates that wanted to join but gave up

Broadcasting area(s) Station Ch. Current
Prefecture Region On air branding Abbr. Call sign
Aomori Tōhoku RAB RAB JOGR-TV 1 NNN/NNS ATV Due to business reasons.[8]
Akita Tōhoku ABS ABS JOTR-TV 11 NNN/NNS N/A This is attributed to the technical reasons of the microwave circuit.
Toyama Chūbu Kitanihon Broadcasting KNB JOLR-TV 1 NNN/NNS TUT Since the commercial stations in the neighboring prefectures (BSN, SBC, CBC and MRO) had a network agreement with Radio Tokyo Television (currently TBS Television), it was generally believed that KNB was also on that line at first, and even within KNB, it was aiming at an affiliation with Radio Tokyo Television. NTV was seriously considered, but it was decided to organize mainly NTV affiliates for reasons such as good sales performance during service broadcasting and many night games of professional baseball being broadcast and it is possible to extend the night game.[9]
Fukui Chūbu Fukui Broadcasting Corporation FBC JOPR-TV 11 NNN/NNS/ANN N/A To avoid conflicts with Hokuriku Broadcasting.
Ehime Shikoku Nankai Broadcasting RNB JOAF-TV 10 NNN/NNS ITV For technical reasons over the microwave circuit and avoiding competition with Chugoku Broadcasting and Oita Broadcasting.
Kochi Shikoku Kochi Broadcasting RKC JOZR-TV 8 NNN/NNS KUTV Due to the fact that Nippon Television was more popular at the time of its opening and the technical reason of the microwave line. After solving the technical problem, it was decided in 1970 that the second commercial broadcasting station would be affiliated to Fuji TV. The relationship deteriorated, and the company considered an affiliation change to TBS (withdrawing from NNN and joining JNN). However, the second station (TV Kochi) switched to joining JNN just before the opening of the station, and abandoned the affiliation change.
Saga Kyūshū Saga Television Station sts JOSH-TV 36 FNN/FNS N/A It started as a Fuji TV affiliated station, but in the early 1970s, an affiliation change to the TBS system was planned under the guidance of Nagasaki Broadcasting.[10] As a result, it did not come true, and the Kaneko family, the owner who is said to have planned the net change, was forced out of business by Fuji Television and TV Nishinippon.


  1. ^ a b TBS50年史. [50 Years of TBS] (in Japanese). Tōkyō Broadcasting System. 2002. OCLC 835030477.
  2. ^ "「TBS NEWS DIG Powered by JNN」がU-NEXTに登場。24時間365日「今を知る」サービスへ | U-NEXT コーポレート". U-NEXT corporate (in Japanese). Retrieved 27 March 2024.
  3. ^ 大衆とともに25年 [25 Years with the Public] (in Japanese). Nippon Television. 1978. OCLC 12164852.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Sadanobu, Aoki (1981). 日本の民放ネットワーク : JNNの軌跡 [Japan's Commercial Broadcasting Network : The Trajectory of JNN] (in Japanese). Tokyo Broadcasting System. OCLC 674445957.
  5. ^ 福島テレビ30年史 [Fukushima TV at 30] (in Japanese). Fukushima Television. 1993. OCLC 47486662.
  6. ^ 朝日放送の50年 [Asahi Broadcasting's 50 Years] (in Japanese). Asahi Broadcasting Corporation. 2000. OCLC 166459267.
  7. ^ 日本海テレビのあゆみ [50 Years of Nihonkai Telecasting] (in Japanese). Nihonkai Television. 2009. OCLC 674596047.
  8. ^ Aomori Broadcasting 25 Year History
  9. ^ "Northern Japan Broadcasting 10 Year History" (April 17, 1962, North Japan Broadcasting) pp. 232-233 "Network Problems".
  10. ^ Nobuo Shiga, Commercial Broadcasters, Transform! Dempa Shimbun, 1975.