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KYOI SuperRock Saipan – Radio Heritage Media Release

In December 1982, millions of Japanese teenagers suddenly had a new pop music radio station targeted directly at them, playing the latest hits from LA, and sounding like nothing before on their airwaves.

The Radio Heritage Foundation has released two new features at its global website that cover the story of this remarkable station that rocked the radio dial across Japan.

This was KYOI broadcasting from Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and what made this station so different, was that it used shortwave signals to reach their transistor radios.

Brainchild of Lawrence S Berger, Hawaiian based radio entrepreneur, KYOI was designed to fill a niche radio market created by the sudden popularity of radio listening amongst Japanese teenagers.

Our two new features ‘The KYOI Story’ and ‘SuperRock KYOI Saipan’ take you inside the powerful shortwave station that was programmed from Los Angeles, consulted from Tokyo, managed from Honolulu and broadcast from Saipan.

Read what Berger himself had to say about his US$4m gamble, how programs such as ‘New Rock Special’ recorded by KROQ-FM Los Angeles were beamed to this new Japanese market, and how ‘new music from LA’ became part of the Japanese youth culture of the times.

You’ll also hear audio extracts from KYOI, the shortwave station that busted the myth that all shortwave stations were boring, with their endless propaganda and political harangues covering the increasingly deserted shortwave dial.

Here, suddenly, was the latest pop and rock music from across the Pacific in California, blasting through the static. Initially popular in Japan and supported by big name advertisers like Sony, KYOI gained fans and listeners around the world to whom this contemporary music was a complete breath of fresh air across the shortwave dial.

‘The KYOI Story’ and ‘SuperRock KYOI Saipan’ our two new features at as part of our continuing radio heritage project to share the stories of Pacific radio.

What happened to KYOI? What’s the connection with the Christian Science Monitor. All this and more are revealed in these well illustrated features that you can now enjoy with us. 

Have you got KYOI memories or memorabilia of your own? You’ll find our contact details at and we’d like to hear from you.

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