Japan Wants To Limit Kid’s Mobile Usage

    May 27, 2008

Japanese children should have limited access to mobile phones to protect them from harmful content according to an advisory panel to the government.

The advisory council on education made the proposal to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda as children become more likely to be exposed to cyber crimes and bullying on Internet school bulletin boards.

The panel said it would recommend "parents, schools and other people concerned to cooperate in preventing elementary and junior high school students from using mobile phones unless it is necessary." It favors restricting mobile phone use to calls only.

The panel said the recommendations are necessary to "protect children from harmful information and other negative influence involving the use of mobile phones," including, "crimes and bullying."

"It is true that the use of mobile phones causes various problems," Fukuda told the AFP. "I think the panel has made timely discussions on the problem. First of all, I wonder if there is any need for children to possess mobile phones."

About a third of Japanese school students 7 to 12 years old use mobile phones, the number increases to 96 percent when they reach high school, according to a government survey.