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PolylabelBarcode Types – Japanese Article Number (JAN)

Barcode Types – Japanese Article Number (JAN)

In 1978, Japan adopted their own version of EAN to use as their common product code. This product code is called JAN(Japanese Article Number ).

Originally, JAN was issued a flag code of 49. In 1992, JAN was newly issued an additional flag code of 45.

Since two country codes exist, the maker code virtually becomes 6 digits.

4 – 9XXXXX
4 – 5XXXXX

This is the only difference between the JAN coding system and that of other EAN countries.

Short Version

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

Much the same as the UPC E version, a shorter version of the JAN standard version had to be created for cases when the code is unable to fit on a product due to space restrictions. Once again, the of use an 8-digit short version is necessary.

Code System For 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

Symbols For Short Version



The short version has no prefix. The whole left side is coded with odd parity characters.

Checkdigit in Short Version

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

Maker Codes in Short Version

The maker code must be applied for again when using the short 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 were and are shown on the scanable label. This is called OCR-affixed JAN symbol.

When expressing the code in JAN, a function code “T” (in standard version) “F” (in short version) is affixed before the OCR letters. It is also necessary to have enough clear area (5mm before and after, 3.5mm above and below) around the OCR characters to insure readability of the OCR.

That is,

must be kept to display OCR.

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