Museum of Plugs and Sockets logo, small Japan
overview of types of plugs and sockets
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Japan uses flat blade plugs and sockets according to Japanese JIS 8303 standard.
The 15 and 20 Amp types are similar to U.S. NEMA configurations
. Domestic voltage in Japan is 100 Volt throughout the country; frequency is either 50 or 60 Hz, depending on the electric power company (click for map).
Related gallery:
heavy duty types

Japanese certification mark, old type
Older sockets and plus - as no. 6 - have the old Japanese Industrial Standards mark (left).
The Nihon Kongyou Kikaku mark, used since 2004 is shown at right.
Japanese certification mark, new type


Japanese 15A-125V socket without ground Japanese adapter for ground connectiom Japanese 15A-125V socket with ground adapter Japanese multi-plug with variable pin angle

Japanese 15A -125V plug with rotatable pins
Japanese 15A -125V plug with rotatable pins, detail
Meikosha 125V plugs for 15A and 20A +/- earth

1 Non-grounded duplex socket, rated at 15A - 125V. Japan follows the same code as U.S. for labeling neutral poles with W (white wire), rather than N. The socket has neutral (W) and live (hot) slots of different width. Image no. 4 shows the same socket.
Manufacturer: National, a trademark of Panasonic Corporation for marketing home appiances in Japan. Bought in 2003.   {WaO}
2, 3 Adapter to provide an earth connection to a non-grounded socket. The horseshoe-shaped connector is attached to a ground connector hidden behind a plastic panel. The connector can also be used for appliance cords that have a two blade plug and a separate wire for grounding.   {WaO}
4 Connector, rated at 12A - 125V, with two outlets for non-grounded 15A plugs. The orientation of the blades is variable and can be rotated over 180 degrees. Made by an unknown Japanses manufacturer (see logo).   {WaO}
5, 6
Non-grounded plug, rated at 15A - 125V. Plug is not polarized, because both blades have the same width. Blades have circular holes, a standard provision that helps to secure a plug when inserted in socket. As no. 4 also this plug has pins that can be rotated over 180 degrees. Image no. 6 shows that a rotational movements is more easy to construct with plugs blades than round pins. 
A standard Japanese plug with fixed blades is shown in image no. 12.    {DH}
7 Japan follows the North American pattern flat blade configurations for 15A-125V (left), 20A-125V (middle) plugs. The Japanese 20A-125V without earth connection (right) has an unique shape for the neutral (W) pin.
Manufacturer: Meikōsha, Tokyo, Japan.   left and middle: {FSE};  right {FS}

Japanese 15A-125V twist lock socket Japanese 15A-125V plugs suitable for twist lock sockets
Japanese 15A-125V twist lock socket with plugs
Japanese 15A-125V twist lock socket with plugs

Japanese 15A 125V with earth pin
Japanese 15A-125V grounded twist lock socket
apanese 15A-125V grounded twist lock plug

8 Duplex socket that allows locking of 15A, 125V plugs. Standard plugs can be used, but some plugs with a wider neutral (W) blade might be more difficult to lock/unlock. Manufacturer: National, trademark of Panasonic, used for domestic products.   {WaO}
Both plugs with and without ground pin can be used in combination with locking socket no. 8. The only condition is that the flat blades have holes (see arrows), which is a standard feature of North American and Japanese plugs. The grounded plug is U.S. made; the round Japanese plug no. 5 does not clearly show the difference in position in image nos. 10 and 11.
10, 11
How it works: insert plugs in a diagonal position (no. 10) and rotate it 30 degrees clockwise (no.11). In this position it is no longer possible to pull out the plugs, because vertical blade movement is stopped by balls that are now clicked into the holes. Plugs have to be rotated counter-clockwise for removal.
12 Grounded plug, rated at 15A - 125V. Plug has a flexible rubber housing to absorb shocks when falling. Plug is similar to U.S. NEMA 5-15P. Manufacturer: Meikōsha, Tokyo, Japan.   {FSE}
13, 14
Socket (13) and plug (14) rated at 15A - 125V with a U.S.-style twist lock mechanism. However these Japanese models are incompatible NEMA L5-15 plugs and sockets. Japanese plugs have a slightly different pin position and the earth pin does not have a hook. Manufacturer: National (Panasonic).   {DH}

Japanese, National plug for ceiling mounting Japanese, National plug for ceiling mounting
Japanese, National plug for ceiling mounting
Japanese, National plug for ceiling mounting

Unknown Japanese type multi-plug Japanese, National plug for ceiling mounting
Panasonic bus bar

15 - 18 Not grounded twist lock socket and plug for mounting on a ceiling. A (lightweight) lamp or pendant connector plug can be attached to the cable. The plug has to be rotated 35 to detach (16). Images 17 and 18 show the components separately. It is unlikely that the colours of the plug pin terminals indicate the neutral and live poles, because (i) the plug is symmetrical and can't be polarized and (ii) white and black are used for neutral and hot, although regional differences seems to exist in Japan.
The National (Panasonic) type WG1000 ceiling connector set is rated at 6A - 250V. Bought in Japan in 2003.
19, 20
Multi-plug with two outlets for standard 15A-125V, not grounded plugs. The multi-plug has been designed for using in a bus bar; see image no. 21.  The blades of the multi-plug are wider (7.9 mm rather than 6.3 mm), shorter (11.6 versus 17.0 mm) and thinner (0.75 versus 1.5 mm) and have neither a parallel nor tandem orientation. It is unknown for which type of socket the plug is meant. Trademark: National (Panasonic); type SD3939W. Bought in 2003.   {WaO}
21 Bus bar for domestic use. Earthed and non-earthed models exists. In both cases special plugs have to be used, as model SD3939W (unearthed, see images 19 and 20), or LC310 (earthed). National (Panasonic).


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