Radio in the Puppet State of Manchuria
JQAK Dairen and MTCY Hsinking (Port Arthur)
by Dr Adrian Peterson
In the three eras of expansion in the nearby areas of coastal Asia,
the Japanese Empire took over Manchuria in 1905 and 1931, and the Korean
peninsula in 1910. Manchuria became Manchukuo (MAN-CHEW-KWO) and Korea
became Chosen (CHO-SEN). Thus it was that radio broadcasting in both
Manchuria and Korea was developed under the administration of Japanese
Listener confirmation (QSL) card issued by MTCY to a British listener in April 1940.
The first radio station in Korea was JODK,
a mediumwave facility in Seoul which was inaugurated on February 16,
1927. After the end of the Pacific War this station was allocated a
new callsign and JODK became HLKA. Even though radio came early to Korea,
or Chosen as it was in those days, there was no international broadcasting
station on the air shortwave in this country during the war years.
Female announcer at the microphone in the JQAK studios, October 1930
Technical staff inside the offices of JQAK, October 1930
Street scene in central Dairen, with studio and office building for JQAK, October 1930
Transmitter building and tower system for JQAK, October 1930
Operator attends to transmitting apparatus inside the studios of JQAK, October 1930
Manchuria with nearly half a million square
miles and nearly one hundred million people is sandwiched in between
China and Russia. There are three major cities and the best known, Harbin,
has a population of three million people with Manchu, Chinese and Russian
The first wireless station in Manchuria was
a communication facility first heard in Australia in 1932 calling station
J1AA in Japan in the 39 metre band. This new station, with the callsign
Z1LY, was located at Hoten.
Radio broadcasting in Manchuria began with
station JQAK, a mediumwave facility located at Dairen, the new name
for Port Arthur. This 5 kW station on 390 metres, corresponding to 770
kHz, was launched in 1927.
Ten years later a shortwave transmitter was
installed with the mediumwave unit at the new studio building in Dairen
and this was heard widely throughout the Pacific with strong signals
under the callsign JDY. The magazine "Radio & Hobbies"
in Australia shows a photo of the multi-storeyed building for JQAK-JDY
around this era.
A QSL letter from station JDY on 9925 kHz
states that this new shortwave service was launched on July 16, 1937
with a power of 10 kW. This QSL letter, written in a propaganda style,
was addressed to Arthur Hankins in the United States and is now lodged
with Jerry Berg and the CPRV QSL collection.
A third station in Manchuria was MTCY which
was launched as a mediumwave facility around the early part of 1935.
The listing for this year shows that MTCY was on the air with a power
of 100 kW, quite remarkable for that era.
New Year's card 1941 (front and obverse) issued by MTCY and featuring a tiger design.
Test broadcasts from a new shortwave transmitter
at MTCY began in June 1939, and a second shortwave transmitter was added
two years later.
QSL cards in the CPRV collection show that the shortwave
station MTCY, with a power of 20 kW, was owned by the Manchuria Telephone
and Telegraph Company.
MTCY Program Guide, December 1940 for listeners on the Pacific Coast of North America
and the Hawaiian Islands.
MTCY Program Guide, December 1940 for listeners in Europe, China, The Philippines, The
Netherlands Indies, Straits Settlements, Australia, New Zealand and The South Seas.
During the Pacific War, station MTCY in Manchuria
was noted in Australia and New Zealand with news and information of
interest to the South Pacific.
This article was originally material for a broadcast of "Wavescan"
via Adventist World Radio in March 2001.
Dr Adrian Peterson is a member of the Radio Heritage Foundation Board.
Images are © the Simon Green Collection, UK and © the Eric Shackle Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation
This feature is made possible thanks to
Hong Kong based Freelance Photographer