We use an equivalent point‐source ground‐motion model (GMM) to characterize subduction earthquakes (interface and in‐slab) in Japan. The model, which is calibrated using the newly published Next Generation Attenuation (NGA) Subduction database (Bozorgnia et al., 2020), provides a useful complement to the more traditional empirical NGA models developed from the same database. The utility of the point‐source model approach lies in its ability to aid in the interpretation of observed trends in the data and to guide modifications to the GMM for application to other regions having fewer data. Key trends in the data that are parameterized with the model include: (a) the enrichment of high‐frequency amplitudes for in‐slab versus interface events, as modeled by a depth‐dependent stress parameter, and (b) attenuation attributes that vary with event type and region, including consideration of fore‐arc versus back‐arc settings. The developed GMMs of this study are applicable for 4.5–9.2 for interface events, and 4–8.5 for in‐slab earthquakes, for rupture distances () from 10 to 600 km, and for (time‐averaged shear‐wave velocity in the top 30 m).