NHK General TV
Logo used since 2020
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersNHK Broadcasting Center, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Language(s)Japanese (English/original language available as sub-audio on bilingual programs)
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
Sister channelsNHK Educational TV
NHK BS Premium 4K
LaunchedFebruary 1, 1953; 71 years ago (1953-02-01)
Digital terrestrialChannel 1 (Channel 3 in prefectures where a commercial station operates on channel 1)

NHK General TV (NHK総合テレビジョン, NHK Sōgō Terebijon), abbreviated on-screen as NHK G, is the main television service of NHK, the Japanese public broadcaster. Its programming includes news, drama, quiz/variety shows, music, sports, anime, and specials which compete directly with the output of its commercial counterparts. The channel is well known for its nightly newscasts, regular documentary specials, and popular historical dramas. Among the programs NHK General TV broadcasts are the annual New Year's Eve spectacular Kōhaku Uta Gassen, the year-long Taiga drama, and the daytime Asadora.

The name is often abbreviated in Japanese to Sōgō Terebi (総合テレビ) ("GTV" and "NHK G" are also used). The word Sōgō (general) serves to differentiate the channel from NHK's other television services, NHK Educational TV, NHK BS 1, NHK BS 2 (closed in 2011) and NHK BS HI (changed to BS Premium).

Launched on 1 February 1953, NHK was Japan's only television channel prior to the launch of Nippon TV on 28 August 1953.

NHK's programs are produced in accordance with the Japan Broadcasting Corporation Broadcasting Code.


Opened in Tokyo on February 1, 1953. This channel is Japan's first TV channel. The common name general television was given because of its generalist status in contrast to NHK Educational Television (commonly known as E-tele since 2011), which is also broadcast on terrestrial waves.

Compared to ETV, which organizes programs that are almost unified throughout Japan, General Television has different programming for each region produced by NHK's regional stations. Therefore, wide-area broadcasting in the analog phase was only in the Kanto wide area (1 metropolitan area and 6 prefectures), and the other 40 prefectures had prefectural broadcasting. In the digital phase, Ibaraki Prefecture moved to prefectural broadcasting in 2004, and Tochigi and Gunma prefectures moved to prefectural broadcasting in 2012, leaving only four prefectures in Southern Kanto for wide-area broadcasting. Nationally aired news programs on the channel are produced by the NHK news department from Tokyo studios.

At the beginning of General TV's broadcasting, it was far from popular with general households , and it was difficult to produce TV programs independently, so it was decided to relay popular NHK radio programs on the channel.[1]

General TV's all-day audience rating in the Kanto area (surveyed by Video Research) was ranked first in a row for 24 years from 1963 to 1986, pushing out each commercial key station.[2] However, in 1987, it handed over the all-day viewer rating to Fuji TV, and regained it in 1988 and 1989, but it has been far from that position since 1989.


NHK conducted experimental broadcasts in 1939-1940 (interrupted due to its entry in the war), the callsign of the station in Tokyo was J2PQ, video frequency 4.5 MHz, output 500W.

In 1950, following the end of occupation, an experimental VHF service started in Tokyo on channel 3 (similar experiments were also carried out in Nagoya and Osaka) one hour a day, three days a week.

The first regular broadcast was carried out on February 1, 1953 from Tokyo, under the JOAK-TV callsign. The first stations outside Tokyo to sign-on were JOBK-TV in Osaka (March 1, 1954 at 8am) and JOCK-TV in Nagoya (the same day at 11am). At 2pm that day, a special program was broadcast to introduce the new stations, with congratulatory messages from officials of the respective cities.[3]

The network expanded to cover Sendai, Hiroshima and Fukuoka in 1956. That same year, in preparation for the start of CBC's television station in Nagoya, the Nagoya station moved from channel 5 to channel 3, as the old frequency was set to be used by CBC. From May 29 to December 23, 1957, further stations opened in Nagano, Shizuoka, Kanazawa, Okayama, Matsuyama and Kokura (Kitakyushu). The first morning broadcast was on October 7, 1957 and the first experimental color broadcast in Tokyo, on December 28.

On November 29, 1958, the Osaka station moved from channel 4 to channel 2 in anticipation for the start of MBS's television station, and on April 6, 1959, the Tokyo station moved from channel 3 to channel 1 to accommodate NHK Educational's main station in Tokyo, to achieve better coverage in the Kanto area.

On March 20, 1966, the National Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation (now NTT) completed the standardization works for color TV microwave lines throughout Japan (excluding the area between Kagoshima and Naze). It is now possible to carry out color TV broadcasts via the network throughout the country, and with the exception of some remote island areas such as Amami Oshima, the development of colorization throughout the country has been completed.

The development of NHK General Television's network by prefecture through phases
The development of NHK General Television's network by prefecture through phases

JOSP-TV in Saga became NHK General's first UHF station when its regular broadcasts started on March 15, 1969. After that, UHF stations opened in Takamatsu, five prefectures in the Kansai region other than Osaka, Tsu, and Gifu, and prefectural broadcasting began. On December 21, experimental broadcasting of bilingual audio multiplex broadcasting begins in Tokyo and Osaka.

On October 10, 1971, NHK General began full-scale colorization of the program. Due to this colorization, black-and-white broadcasting excluding reruns of past works has disappeared from Japanese TV programs.

Due to the influence of the first oil crisis, after January 16, 1974, the midnight broadcast was suspended. In 1975, the analog UHF experimental stations in Tokyo and Osaka were closed. Therefore, the time saving measures due to the oil crisis were completely lifted for the first time in one year, two and a half months. It was only in April 1984, all weekday broadcasts end at 12am, completely ending the late-night broadcast suspension that had continued since the oil crisis.

Regarding analog sound multiplex broadcasting, it was first implemented from December 1982. Teletext broadcasting (subtitled broadcasting) started later in 1985.

On September 19, 1988, as Emperor Showa was in critical condition, all-night broadcasts began in the form of fillers, reporting on his condition from time to time. When the Emperor died on January 7, 1989, NHK has suspended all programs except for educational broadcasts, including the serial asadora Jun-chan no ōenka and the Taiga drama Kasuga no Tsubone, and will continue to broadcast special programs in memory of Emperor Showa and special programs for the enthronement of the new Emperor until the early hours of the January 9.[4] The temporary all-night broadcast will end, but a regular program will be scheduled by 1am until March.

On January 17, 1995, when the Great Hanshin earthquake occurs, NHK begin a special news program at 5:51pm on all broadcast channels, including Educational TV. All regular programs have been suspended. From February onwards, the program returned to its normal format, but until the end of February (until the end of March in the Kansai region) the program focused on reporting on the earthquake disaster.

In April 1996, NHK General begins 24 hours transmissions on weekends (Fridays and Saturdays late at night). Also, the weekday broadcast time has been expanded to 2am. The following year, it started 24 hours transmissions, except early Monday morning.

In April 2000, NHK General started simultaneous subtitle broadcasting of live broadcast programs using teletext. It will also be broadcast all night on Sundays.

On December 1, 2003, NHK General started broadcasting terrestrial digital television at each broadcasting station in three metropolitan areas.

In March 2004, NTT Communications' relay lines completely transitioned from analog lines using microwaves to digital lines using optical fiber. In conjunction with this, the line operation system will be unified from Tokyo. On October 1, NHK General launched JOEP-DTV in Mito as its first digital television station since Tsu NHK General station, which was started its regular broadcast during analog days 31 years prior. Prior to that, NHK Mito relays its television station from Tokyo.



Broadcasting rights

Rugby union
Ice hockey
Multi-sport events

NHK domestic stations and FM / Radio 1 / GTV services

Places in bold refer to where the main station of each region is located.

Channel designation for NHK General. Areas marked with red are assigned to Channel 1 while those in purple are assigned to Channel 3.
Region Station (name in Kanji) Analog (only Analog TV closed) Digital Prefecture
FM Radio 1 General TV
Call sign Ch. LCN Call sign
Hokkaidō Sapporo (札幌) JOIK-FM JOIK JOIK-TV 3 (3) JOIK-DTV Ishikari-Shiribeshi-Sorachi Subpref. (including Sapporo)
Hakodate (函館) JOVK-FM JOVK JOVK-TV 4 JOVK-DTV Oshima-Hiyama Subpref.
Asahikawa (旭川) JOCG-FM JOCG JOCG-TV 9 JOCG-DTV Kamikawa-Rumoi-Sōya Subpref.
Obihiro (帯広) JOOG-FM JOOG JOOG-TV 4 JOOG-DTV Tokachi Subpref.
Kushiro (釧路) JOPG-FM JOPG JOPG-TV 9 JOPG-DTV Kushiro-Nemuro Subpref.
Kitami (北見) JOKP-FM JOKP JOKP-TV 3 Abashiri Subpref.
Muroran (室蘭) JOIQ-FM JOIQ JOIQ-TV 9 Iburi-Hidaka Subpref.
Tōhoku Aomori (青森) JOTG-FM JOTG JOTG-TV 3 (3) JOTG-DTV Aomori
Akita (秋田) JOUK-FM JOUK JOUK-TV 9 (1) JOUK-DTV Akita
Yamagata (山形) JOJG-FM JOJG JOJG-TV 8 JOJG-DTV Yamagata
Morioka (盛岡) JOQG-FM JOQG JOQG-TV 4 JOQG-DTV Iwate
Sendai (仙台) JOHK-FM JOHK JOHK-TV 3 (3) JOHK-DTV Miyagi
Fukushima (福島) JOFP-FM JOFP JOFP-TV 9 (1) JOFP-DTV Fukushima
Kantō-Kōshin'etsu Tokyo (東京) JOAK-FM JOAK JOAK-TV
1 (1) JOAK-DTV
Tokyo and surrounding areas (including Saitama, Chiba, and Yokohama)
Yokohama (横浜) JOGP-FM -- 1 Kanagawa
Chiba (千葉) JOMP-FM -- 1 Chiba
Saitama (埼玉) JOLP-FM -- 1 Saitama
Maebashi (前橋) JOTP-FM -- 1 JOTP-DTV Gunma
Utsunomiya (宇都宮) JOBP-FM -- 1 JOBP-DTV Tochigi
Mito (水戸) JOEP-FM -- 1 JOEP-DTV Ibaraki
Kōfu (甲府) JOKG-FM JOKG JOKG-TV 1 JOKG-DTV Yamanashi
Nagano (長野) JONK-FM JONK JONK-TV 2 JONK-DTV Nagano
Niigata (新潟) JOQK-FM JOQK JOQK-TV 8 JOQK-DTV Niigata
Tōkai-Hokuriku Toyama (富山) JOIG-FM JOIG JOIG-TV 3 (3) JOIG-DTV Toyama
Kanazawa (金沢) JOJK-FM JOJK JOJK-TV 4 (1) JOJK-DTV Ishikawa
Shizuoka (静岡) JOPK-FM JOPK JOPK-TV 9 JOPK-DTV Shizuoka
Nagoya (名古屋) JOCK-FM JOCK JOCK-TV 3 (3) JOCK-DTV Aichi
Gifu (岐阜) JOOP-FM -- JOOP-TV 39/3 JOOP-DTV Gifu
Tsu (津) JONP-FM -- JONP-TV 31/3 JONP-DTV Mie
Kansai Osaka (大阪) JOBK-FM JOBK JOBK-TV 2 (1) JOBK-DTV Osaka
Kōbe (神戸) JOPP-FM -- JOPP-TV 28/2 JOPP-DTV Hyōgo
Kyoto (京都) JOOK-FM JOOK JOOK-TV 32/2 JOOK-DTV Kyoto
Ōtsu (大津) JOQP-FM -- JOQP-TV 28 JOQP-DTV Shiga
Hikone (彦根) sub. of Ōtsu -- JOQP -- -- -- --
Nara (奈良) JOUP-FM -- JOUP-TV 51/2 (1) JOUP-DTV Nara
Wakayama (和歌山) JORP-FM -- JORP-TV 32 JORP-DTV Wakayama
Chūgoku Tottori (鳥取) JOLG-FM JOLG JOLG-TV 3 (3) JOLG-DTV Tottori
Matsue (松江) JOTK-FM JOTK JOTK-TV 6 JOTK-DTV Shimane
Okayama (岡山) JOKK-FM JOKK JOKK-TV 5 (1) JOKK-DTV Okayama
Hiroshima (広島) JOFK-FM JOFK JOFK-TV 3 JOFK-DTV Hiroshima
Yamaguchi (山口) JOUG-FM JOUG JOUG-TV 9 JOUG-DTV Yamaguchi
Shikoku Tokushima (徳島) JOXK-FM JOXK JOXK-TV 3 (3) JOXK-DTV Tokushima
Takamatsu (高松) JOHP-FM JOHP JOHP-TV 37 (1) JOHP-DTV Kagawa
Matsuyama (松山) JOZK-FM JOZK JOZK-TV 6 JOZK-DTV Ehime
Kyūshū-Okinawa Fukuoka (福岡) JOLK-FM JOLK JOLK-TV 3 (3) JOLK-DTV Nishifukuoka (includes Fukuoka and Kurume)
Kitakyūshū (北九州) JOSK-FM JOSK JOSK-TV 6 JOSK-DTV Higashifukuoka/Nishiyamaguchi (includes Kitakyūshū and Shimonoseki)
Saga (佐賀) JOSP-FM JOSP JOSP-TV 38 (1) JOSP-DTV Saga
Nagasaki (長崎) JOAG-FM JOAG JOAG-TV 3 JOAG-DTV Nagasaki
Kumamoto (熊本) JOGK-FM JOGK JOGK-TV 9 JOGK-DTV Kumamoto
Miyazaki (宮崎) JOMG-FM JOMG JOMG-TV 8 JOMG-DTV Miyazaki
Kagoshima (鹿児島) JOHG-FM JOHG JOHG-TV 3 (3) JOHG-DTV Kagoshima
Okinawa (沖縄) JOAP-FM JOAP JOAP-TV 2 (1) JOAP-DTV Okinawa (including Naha)


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JIB TV is a Japanese television company which, since 2009, has produced English-language programs about Japan and Asia for an international audience. The programs will be shown all over the world through the English channel NHK World from the Japanese public service broadcaster NHK, as well as via the player through the JIB TV's website. NHK World TV and production company Jib was started in 2009 with the purpose of disseminating information, knowledge of Japanese and Asian culture and as a counterweight to channels such as CNN International and BBC World.

Japan International Broadcasting Company owns 60 percent of the public service company NHK and to 40 percent of businesses with stakeholders such as Microsoft and Japanese bank Mizuho. Operations are financed for the most part by the Japanese TV license payers but also by external sponsors and advertisers. Broadcasts reach the Scandinavian countries via Astra and Eutelsat satellites. The aim is that in future also be distributed via leading cable and IPTV operators.

In order to release capital NHK moved money from radio to TV. One consequence was that the Swedish, German and Italian departments of foreign channel Radio Japan were shut down in autumn 2007.


  1. ^ Shoichi Ota "Kohaku Uta Gassen and Japanese People" ( Chikuma Shobo Chikuma Selection 78 ISBN 4480015868 , 2013.11), page 27.
  2. ^ "All records TV ratings 50-year war-100 million people were impressed at that time" (Soya Hikida, Kodansha , 2004, ISBN 4062122227 , page 116)
  3. ^ "On the occasion of the opening of the Osaka/Nagoya Television Station ―From BK Daiichi Studio― Greetings Congratulatory Message Film Television is making rapid progress ― NHK/TV Osaka/Nagoya opening ―". NHK. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  4. ^ NHK. "データベースで探す". NHKクロニクル (in Japanese). Retrieved 2024-01-04.