Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. NHK WORLD / International Broadcasting

What is NHK WORLD?
  • NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), established under the term of the Broadcast Act, operates international TV and radio services primarily for reception in other countries. “NHK WORLD” is the overall name of these services, provided both via broadcasts and the internet.
  • NHK WORLD offers four types of services:
    • NHK WORLD TV - 24/7 English-language TV channel
    • NHK WORLD PREMIUM - Japanese-language TV channel
    • NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN - International radio broadcasts in 18 languages
    • NHK WORLD ONLINE - Internet content in 18 languages

For further details, please refer to About NHK WORLD.

2. NHK WORLD TV

What is NHK WORLD TV? / What is NHK WORLD PREMIUM?
  • NHK WORLD TV delivers news and other programs in English 24 hours a day. It is available via satellite broadcasting, cable TV, IPTV, and terrestrial digital broadcasting, as well as the internet.
  • NHK WORLD PREMIUM is NHK’s Japanese-language channel for overseas viewers. It broadcasts news and information programs as well as dramas, music programs, children's programs, and sports.
  • NHK WORLD PREMIUM is offered by subscription. Viewing methods vary by region, on cable TV and/or satellite broadcasting. For more information, please visit the FAQ of NHK WORLD PREMIUM operated by Japan International Broadcasting, Inc.
How can I receive NHK WORLD TV and NHK WORLD PREMIUM?
  • NHK WORLD TV is available in approximately 150 countries and regions (as of March 2016), via satellite, cable TV, IPTV, and terrestrial digital broadcasting.
  • To receive NHK WORLD TV directly via Intelsat Satellites, you need a satellite dish over 1 meter in diameter and a digital tuner. The signal is not scrambled and can be received free of charge.
  • Most NHK WORLD TV programs can be watched live on its website.
  • NHK WORLD TV provides free apps to watch its service for many smartphones and tablet devices as well as streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV™, Android TV™, and Apple TV®.
    Click here for details.
  • NHK WORLD PREMIUM is offered by subscription. Viewing methods vary by region, on cable TV and/or satellite broadcasting.
    Click here for details. *You will leave the NHK WORLD website.
What are the fees for viewing NHK WORLD TV/NHK WORLD PREMIUM?
  • One way of viewing NHK WORLD TV is to subscribe a local cable TV and/or satellite broadcasting. The fee varies depending on the service provider.
  • You can view NHK WORLD TV free of charge by receiving its signal directly via Intelsat Satellites. A satellite dish over 1 meter in diameter and a digital tuner is needed. The signal is not scrambled.
    Click here for details.
  • Most NHK WORLD TV programs can be watched live on its website.
  • NHK WORLD TV provides free apps to watch its service for many smartphones and tablet devices as well as streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV™, Android TV™ and Apple TV®.
  • Data communication charges for the internet connection are the viewer’s responsibility.
    Click here for details.
  • NHK WORLD PREMIUM is offered by subscription. Viewing methods and fees vary by region, on cable TV and/or satellite broadcasting.
    Click here for details. *You will leave the NHK WORLD website.
Can I view NHK WORLD TV or NHK WORLD PREMIUM on the internet?
  • NHK WORLD TV services are streamed live (simultaneous transmission) on its website and through free apps for smartphones, tablets, and similar devices.
    Click here for details.
  • Due to broadcasting rights, however, some programs are not available on the internet.
  • NHK WORLD PREMIUM cannot be viewed on the internet.
Are dramas and entertainment programs broadcast on NHK WORLD TV?
  • NHK WORLD TV provides news and a variety of information programs under the term of the Broadcast Act.
  • NHK WORLD PREMIUM provides dramas and other entertainment programs in Japanese.
Why does NHK WORLD TV repeat programs so many times?
  • NHK WORLD TV is broadcast worldwide around the clock. The schedule is arranged so that people in different time zones of the world can view the programs at times that are convenient for them.
Does NHK WORLD TV offer video on demand?
  • NHK WORLD TV provides free video on demand as a catch-up TV service on its website and through applications for smartphones, tablets, and similar devices.
  • Distribution of a program on demand worldwide on the internet requires authorization by cast members and the securing of various rights. These factors affect whether a program can be made available on demand and, if so, for how long.
What is TV JAPAN? / How can I receive TV JAPAN?
  • The TV JAPAN service was launched in 1991 through NHK Cosmomedia (America), Inc. in North America and NHK Cosmomedia (Europe), Ltd. in Europe.
  • NHK distributes its programs to both corporations by telecommunication satellite. These are added to programs procured separately by the corporations themselves and arranged and distributed to local cable networks, hotels, and households. The service can only be viewed by subscribing to these corporations.
  • For more information, please visit the following websites;
    TV JAPAN operated in North America and Hawaii by NHK Cosmomedia (America), Inc.
    JSTV operated in Europe, Parts of the Middle East and Africa by NHK Cosmomedia (Europe), Ltd.
    *You will leave the NHK WORLD website.
Why can't I view some images “due to broadcasting rights?”
  • Licensing regulations often restrict broadcasts of popular international sporting events.
  • Almost all of these events can only be broadcast with the permission of the sporting federation involved. The broadcaster has to purchase the rights to provide the service.
  • NHK does its best to secure international usage rights. However, in the case of popular events, usage is strictly defined by factors such as geographic area. Rights are typically limited to domestic broadcasts; permission is not granted for distribution worldwide.
  • We usually remove images that cannot be broadcast overseas in advance, at the editing stage. As for NHK WORLD PREMIUM in particular, most news is transmitted live simultaneously with the broadcast in Japan. In such cases, we cover the restricted images with still pictures.
  • Due to license limitations, some images are only available for NHK WORLD TV’s broadcast and not for streaming on the internet. In such cases, we cover the restricted images online with still pictures.
Where can I find the program guide?
  • NHK WORLD TV Schedule on this website lists the current timetable. The program guide in PDF format is also available here. However, changes occasionally have to be made without notice.

3. NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN

What is NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN?
  • NHK started overseas shortwave broadcast in 1935. NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN now broadcasts news, current information and topics from Japan, using medium wave, FM frequencies, and satellite radio, in addition to shortwave.
  • Services are provided in 18 languages: Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, Chinese, English, French, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Thai, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
How is NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN is transmitted?
  • NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN is transmitted around the world in two ways: directly from Japan and via overseas relay stations.
  • Some programs are provided to foreign broadcasting organizations and aired on their own FM or medium wave frequencies.
    Click here for details. (PDF)
  • Broadcasting is also provided over satellite radio. The programs are transmitted via satellite (Ku band) to the Asian continent, Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. Services via C band satellite can be received all over the world.
    Click here for details.
  • NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN is streamed live on its website.
  • NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN provides a free app for many smartphones and tablet devices.
    Click here for details.
How can I receive NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN?
  • NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN is transmitted on shortwave broadcasting from 6MHz (49 meter band) to 21MHz (13 meter band). Please make sure your radio has a frequency range that is wide enough to receive the broadcasts. Because of the nature of shortwave signals, reception quality can vary by season, time, and place. NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN uses different frequencies for different times and service areas. It also changes frequencies on designated dates in the spring and autumn.
    Click here for the latest schedule and frequencies.
  • Broadcasting is also provided over satellite radio. The programs are transmitted via Ku band satellite to the Asian continent, Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. Services via C band satellite can be received all over the world.
    Click here for details.
Where can I find the frequencies and program schedule for NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN?
Can I listen to RADIO JAPAN programs on the Internet?
  • News in 18 languages and the other segments in 17 languages other than Japanese are available on the NHK WORLD website.
  • Download a free app and you can listen to live streaming and audio clips from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN on your smartphone and tablet device.
    Click here for details.
  • The podcast news service is provided in 17 languages other than Japanese.
Can I download audio files on my computer?
  • “News” and “Easy Japanese” on NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN other than Japanese service can be downloaded and played on your computer or portable music player compatible with the Podcasting.
  • Before listening to the podcast, you need a computer with an internet connection and an application such as iTunes. Subscribing your favorite podcast on the application allows you to download new episodes automatically. You can transfer them to your mobile music player to go.
  • For listening on your smartphone, install an app compatible with the Podcasting.
How often is the internet radio news updated in each language?
  • Radio-on-demand and podcasts are generally updated soon after the programs are aired.
  • News updates are generally made on the following schedule:
    • English and Japanese: Three times a day
    • Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish: Twice a day
    • Bengali, Burmese, Hindi, Indonesian, Swahili, Thai, Urdu, and Vietnamese: Once a day
Why don't some news scripts and audio match in some languages? / Why is the internet news not updated for a while after the broadcast has finished?
  • The language services have different times for updating audio and text.
  • Another possibility is that the page you are looking at has been stored on your computer as a Cache or a Temporary Internet File since the last time you viewed it. Please clear the file and try reloading the page in the browser. If it still doesn't work, clear Cache or Temporary Internet File on the Settings screen where the browsing history can be configured.

4. Other Questions

Can I receive NHK WORLD TV / RADIO JAPAN in Japan?
Can I purchase program DVDs or texts of NHK WORLD TV?

Programs of NHK WORLD TV are not available on DVD or in text form.

Are recorded versions of programs available?

Copyright restrictions prevent us from providing video and DVD recordings for personal use.
NHK International Inc. charges a fee for the professional use of NHK’s footage and programs.
Click here for details.

How can I inquire about an NHK WORLD programs or other services?

Please use the “Contact Us” form for specific inquiries.

Is the search function on the NHK WORLD website only available in English and Japanese?

The search engine implemented on this site works for the English and Japanese language pages, but not for other languages.