In 1978, Japan joined to EAN, and adopted the common product code of EAN.

This product code is called JAN (Japanese Article Number ).

At first the flag of JAN is 49. In 1992, EAN newly gave 45 to JAN, and JAN has now two country codes

Since two country codes exist, it seems in practical use, to be

4 - 9XXXXX
4 - 5XXXXX
So maker code virtually becomes 6 digits.

Only this point differs from the code systems of other EAN countries; other points are same as EAN, so we will illustrate here only about domestic variations in Japan.

Short Version

13-digit JAN, which corresponded to EAN standard, is called Standard version.

To the contrary, like UPC E version, for the small products which cannot display in the standard version, use the 8-digit short version.

Code System of Short Version

The code system of the short version is as follows:

Flag 1-digit **
Maker Code 6-digit **
Item Code 1-digit
Checkdigit 1-digit
** on practical use, looks like that, because there are two flags for Japan.

Symbols of Short Version


There is no prefix in the short version. Whole of its left side is coded with odd parity left-side characters.

Checkdigit in Short Version

The checkdigit in the short version is calculated by modulus 10.

Maker Codes of Short Version

Whoever have own maker code for the standard version, the maker code for short version, must be applied again (as the case may be, with indicating the product which cannot display by standard version. )

Application and registration of the maker code for JAN (and UPC) can be offered at the nearest Chamber of commerce & Industry or following institute.

The Distribution System Research Institute / DCC
TEL: 03 - 5414 - 8511

OCR-affixed JAN symbol


In Japan, before the adoption of the JAN symbol, many industries (books, household electrical appliances, sports equipments, toys, etc.) and some retailers already employed POS by using OCR (Opticai Character Recognition ).

When introducing the JAN symbol, for coordination with OCR, both the JAN symbol and the OCR letters are shown. This is called OCR-affixed JAN symbol.

For expressing the code is JAN, a function code "T" (in standard version) "F" (in short version) must be affixed before OCR letters.

  • standard version : 45.56mm wide x 10.5mm high,
  • short version : 39.29mm wide x 10.5mm high must be kept for area of displaying OCR.

    * Common Magazine Code and its symbol

    Code system of Common Magazine Code

    Current Common Magazine Code is established in 1992.

    Its code system takes following system, for keeping coherency to the JAN code.

    Magazines adopts NON-PLU because there are enormous number of items and its product cycle is quite short.

    AA - BCCCF - DD - EEE CD

    AA flag for Common Magazine Code (11)
    B indicates form of issue
    0, 1 = monthlies
    2, 3 = weeklies
    4, 5 = comics
    6 = mooks
    8 = the number given by Distribution Code Center, to which doesn't have the Magazine Code.
    7, 9 = reserved
    B + C B + C indicates that name of magazine, etc. in Magazine Code
    F in the weeklies, the number of week. and 6 -- 9 indicates an extra issue.
    in the monthlies, (magazine code + 1) indicates an extra issue.
    DD in weekly/monthly, shows the number of week/month.
    in mook, shows the issue.
    in comics, shows volume number by F + DD.
    EEE displays the sales price with tax, in 10 yens
    ** 000 in case above 9990 yen

    Symbol of Common Magazine Code


    Magzines and books have processed by OCR from before; for keeping consistency with this, the symbol is displayed in OCR-affixed JAN.

    For application & registration of Magazine Code:

    Common Magazine Code Management Center
    TEL: 03 - 3291 - 0775
    Tokyo Publication and Sales Co.,Ltd. Magazine Dept., Magazine Purchase Section
    TEL: 03 - 3266 - 9530

    JAN code for Books


    The symbol of JAN code for Books is, to have consistency with the Japanese Book Code along ISBN (International Standard Book Number), adopts long type (2 columns) NON-PLU of JAN code system.

    The code system is as follows:

    Upper: 978 - 4 - AAAAA - BBB - CD

    Lower: 192 - CCCC - DDDDD - CD

    978 an EAN flag for ISBN
    4 Language Code (4 for Japanese, etc.)
    AAAAA Publisher Code
    BBB Title Code
    ** (length of A) + (length of B) = 8
    For example, in case Publisher Code has 2 digits, the Title Code might have 6 digits.
    192 flag that indicates it is (classification code + body price)
    CCCC classification code of publications
    DDDDD body price without tax
    * 00000 if above 99999

    For application & registration of the publisher code for Japanese Book Code :

    Japanese Book Code Management Center
    TEL: 03 - 3267 - 2301

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