Japan joins SOTA

After a monumental amount of work by many people, the SOTA management is pleased to welcome Japan to SOTA.

Putting this new association together has taken a team of people a long time and has taxed the resources of the SOTA summits team so I am delighted to see that we have been able to finally get the summits into the system.

As usual don’t thank me, all I did was make a few slots in the database so that Japan could be uploaded and I got that wrong! The real work was done by other people, Andrew VK3ARR / JI1GBE, Guy N7UN, Toru JH0CJH plus input form our summit team of Jim G0CQK, Peter ON4UP, Csaba YO6PIB & Simon G4TJC. If I have missed anyone out please shout and I will add you to the list.

There are 4 associations and about 3300 new summits which is enough to start with!

JA - Japan - Honshu
JA5 - Japan - Shikoku
JA6 - Japan - Kyushu & Okinawa
JA8 - Japan - Hokaido

Please join me in thanking everyone who has worked long on bringing this to fruition.

The database is ready for JA activations and chases. The ARMs (which are dual language English/Japanese) and the ability to spot/alert should be online soon.

Andy, MM0FMF
SOTA Database


Impressive work chaps! I used to send JARL regular emails about SOTA in the first couple of years of the programme - to no avail. It’s a hard “market” to get into.

Oh WOW :grinning:

Japanese Sotas. Now there’s is going to be an interesting challenge.
Looking forwards to catching one of them on the air :smile:

Fantastic news! Well done everyone…

Just so you can see what is waiting, here is the view from my office window (when I’m in Japan) of what is now JA/NA-014. It’s the highest peak in the centre and still holding some snow when this was taken earlier this month.

Maybe I should now apply for a JA mobile/portable licence for when I am there. Details for visitors at this link if you want to know more:


73 Marc G0AZS


Well done to the team who have performed this MASSIVE task.

Great work Guys!

73 Ed.

Congratulations to all involved with getting Japan SOTA running. I am looking forward to a similar time zone to Australia and the usual perfect skip distance to Japan on various bands from Australia. Who will crack the first S2S on 6m .
ian vk5cz …

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Very cool! I suspect there will be a whole lot of participation from JA. They’re the easiest DX to work from SoCal. Hope to see some spots and work some s2s soon…


Don’t assume there’ll be a lot of participation straight away! We’re working on advertising and the like, but portable operations are a small part of a large (and ageing) ham population. There is already a mountain program called Yamaran which has a few activators that we hope to bring across into dual-activations with SOTA summits.

You will see folks like Arnaud JG1XMV and Toru JH0CJH doing the first activations, at a guess :smile:

I’ll do a blog post in the next day or so - there are some nice summits close to major cities, some I’ve climbed, some I haven’t, that I identified during the survey process.


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Oh, and thanks to the MT for starting the associations! :smile:

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Well I didn’t really expect any great amount activity straight away but, seeing and hearing how JA hams get into awards based programs and from my own experience in contesting I can envision a forthcoming great amount of participation. Time will tell. In various contests, I’m always amazed that many of the JA stations that come back to my CQs are running QRP.

And, right… Thanks MT for all the hard work…


That’s just for Honshu the main island. - 5276 over the 4 associations if I recall.

A great deal of the credit for SOTA JA should go to Andrew, VK3ARR / JI1GBE, who really did all the “heavy lifting” by using ASTER-based data which provided a raw dataset of possible summits. Then it was necessary to look up each summit using Japanese maps to “correct” the lat/long ASTER data as well as determining 150m prominence. Typically “clean prominence” (from the peakbagger.com definition, i.e. 160m contour lines) was the conservative approach. Nominally you can do about 20 peak determinations an hour…so for the 5300+ peaks this was a huge undertaking. As a side note, your eyes/brain is only good for about 50 peaks before you “can’t see” anymore!

Part of the challenge is the three Japanese character sets (Kanjii, Katakana, Hiragana) and the romanized translation (romanji) for peak naming. Where there is no peak name, the “name” followed the VK convention of using the SOTA Reference number.

Now the team goal is to shift to “marketing” SOTA in Japan. The Japanese are great hikers so, in time, we hope the large JA ham community will quickly adopt the SOTA program. I would expect a lot of local FM 2m activity first. With sunspot cycle meandering downward, HF qsos will be a challenge for North America and Europe but much easier for our VK friends.

Thanks to Toru/JH0CJH for accepting the role as Association Manager!

73, Guy/n7un aka nS0TA

Yep, looking forward to some JA. Fantastic work!

Hats off to the MT on getting JA-land into the SOTA fold :smile: As a young Marine, I spent a lot of time up in the NTA of Okinawa…What little time I spent on the mainland, I recall huge QRP clubs that were well organized and seemed to be active every weekend. In later years while living on Guam, visiting JA’s were always dropping off the JARL CQ mag which ran lots of interesting articles on the QRP clubs and their activities. I’m not sure if TIARA is still around and active, but they might be a good lead in getting the word out and help with the “marketing” :wink: Okinawa had a huge Ex-Pat community of hams as well as I recall…

I always wanted to get back to the “rock”. Now I have one more reason to retrace my footsteps of the past :smiling_imp:

Thanks again for all the hard work you guys do, and I’m looking forward to chasing the new “flock”!

73, Todd KH2TJ

WOW! Great news, and Great work by all. I can’t wait to see how many JA’s get “On The Air.”

Thanks Gents!


Congratulations and welcome to the JA-SOTA-friends.

Btw: are they all P150 or P100-associations?

Vy73 de HB9CSA

It is a great news. I worked some JA’s on TK tour and i’ll be pleased to send the qsl.
Welcome and see you from a summit.
Andre f5ukl

Yes! Guy has already credited Andrew Ryan VK3ARR / JI1GBE with the work of developing the summit lists, but I can quite fairly comment that this was the highest quality submission for an association that I have ever experienced in my tenure of the role of summits manager. I found just 1 correction needed in over 5000 summits.
If only all were like this!


Excellent achievement, a big thanks to all those who gave of their time to bring this all together well done.

Now we just need the VOTA MT to put their ARM together :smile:

73 Glyn

Just out of curiosity, what is all involved in getting a country listed? for example, I am planning on going to St Lucia later this year, and I know there are a few summits that could be had.

Kent K9EZ