Participating in Japanese Radio Auctions
For those who are interested in purchasing Japanese portable radios (classic or otherwise), there is a little-known resource which might help you track down the model of your dreams. Many excellent portables are bought and sold every year in Japan, but never show up in the eBay system.
Just for example, the Sony ICF-S5W is a rare classic portable in extreme demand in North America, drawing multiple bidders and hundreds of dollars when in shows up in good condition on eBay. But the Japanese-market model (the ICF-S5) is electrically identical, and extremely common in Japan. Currently no fewer than 14 of these ICF-S5 models are up for auction in Japan, as detailed in the listing posted at http://buyee.jp/item/search?query=Sony%20ICF-S5 Prices are extremely cheap, compared to what ICF-S5W models go for on eBay. The models even include a bonus map of Japan on the back panel, and crystal-provided coverage of the Japanese NSB shortwave frequencies.
Previously foreign bidders were excluded from these Japanese auctions, but Yahoo Japan has introduced a "Buyee" service to help foreigners participate. In addition to the cost of the radio, you will need to pay the shipping cost and a small fee to the "Buyee" service. Even with all these charges the total cost of purchasing a classic Japanese radio like the ICF-S5 can be hundreds of dollars less than an equivalent model on eBay. Full details and FAQ's are listed in the "Buyee.jp" home page. Good luck!
73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)