Temporarily AM transmitting stop of Japanese private AM broadcasters after February 2024.
Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications announced the basic policy for “AM to FM removal” of private AM(mediumwave) radio broadcasters on March 9 2023. According to Japanese radio low, radio license is deleted if broadcaster stops transmission for more than 6 months without rational reason. By this basic policy AM radio broadcasters are exempted from the low from November 1 2023 until January 31 2025. During this period private AM radio broadcasters can stop AM transmission temporarily for more than 6 months (“more than 6 months” is a must) without losing license. To use this exemption broadcasters should prepare the alternative method and apply when they renew their license after May 2023 (the AM license of all the broadcasters will be renewed on November 1 2023). For the convenience of the authorization work, the actual stop of AM transmission can be done after February 2024. The stop can be interrupted and resumed when  large disaster happens.

After the temporarily AM transmission stop, broadcasters can decide their way of “AM to FM removal” from following 4 cases.
1) AM remains as it is, no removal to FM at all.
2) AM mother transmitting station remains, relay stations are all or in part removed to FM.
3) FM removal of most transmitting stations, remaining few AM transmitting stations.
4) Complete FM removal, no AM remains

Only 3 broadcasters, HBC (Hokkaido Hoso) and STV (Sapporo TV Hoso) in Hokkaido, ABS (Akita Hoso) in Akita prefecture have already declared to select 1). This policy is for private AM broadcasters only. NHK (and AFN) will preserve AM transmission as it is.

Takahito Akabayashi, Tokyo, Japan to WOR iog (2023-04-02)