Internet and Children News “NetKiz News” from Japan (and elsewhere)

Japan probably has the most advanced cell phones in the world at this point. The majority of models offer e-mail and Internet access to high-speed, high-volume wireless networks. Recent government statistics show that about one-third of Japanese elementary school children (aged 6-12), two-thirds of junior high students (13-15) and 96%, or virtually all high school students (16-18), have their own cell phones, or keitai (literally means “portable”).

Parents give keitai to children so that they can be reached when they are out at after-school activities like sports or juku (cram school) or to be used in emergency situations. But children quickly learn to use this personal tool “for fun.” With an Internet-connected, unmonitored and un-filtered keitai, kids can access to anyone, any time (even midnight in the bed), at anywhere (even during the class or while in the bath... so kids want water-proof keitai), to anywhere (even harmful or dangeruos sites) and do anything including messaging, electronic shopping, social networking, net searching and playing games music, taking and sending photos and videos. They can be not only the victim but also the offender, all without being monitored or supervised by parents and teachers. It is as if parents have given an expensive and risky toy to children.

Now for many children keitai is a social lifeline that they cannot live without. Some children are addicted to keitai; they send over 100 messages per day and feel very uneasy or get angry if they do not get a reply within a few minutes.

The Council on Net Society and Children operates a website or a clearinghouse of information and trends related to the Internet, keitai and children. The information we gather include: headlines of latest news articles, events, useful sites, books, tips, law and overseas trends. The following lists contain links to Japan-related Net& Kiz news in English which may give you a glimpse of the current Net&Kiz situation in Japan.

I will continue adding more information and comments. (updated September 12, 2009 by Emily Sato, member of The Council on Net Society and Children)


Researchers seek funds to study cell phone safety(of radiation, US, CNET News Sept. 2, 2009)

Most Japanese children have experienced bullying: official report (AFP Jun 26, 2009)

Cellphone 'ban' for kids passes(IHT/Asahi: June 30,2009)

Mobile mania: Cellphones a way of life for Japanese (Calcary Herald March 11, 2009)
Unlike our text messaging system(SMS), which is restricted to 160 characters, Japanese cellphone e-mail allows you to send 10,000 characters, to which you can attach pictures, emoticons and small animations....

Brits Fret About What Kids See on Cell Phones
(PC World March 1, 2009)
・・・In Japan, NTT DoCoMo is promoting a "kid-safe" cell phone equipped with a GPS tracking function and alarm. "The mobile Internet has made it much harder for parents to monitor what their children are viewing・・・

Japanese Teens’ Cell Phone Use Out of Control(redOrbit 2009/2/26)

School mobile ban demanded as mobbing, prostitution spreads - Feature (The EarthTimes Jan.26, 2009)

Mobile phones may banned in Japan to stop bullies (Telegraph Dec.17, 2008)

Osaka Pref. eyes cell phone use ban in schools (The Yomiuri Shimbun Friday Dec.5,2008)
There's no need for students to have mobile phones at school...It's only natural that the more dependent they become on cell phones, the less they study." <Osaka Governor Hashimoto>

Japanese Woman Arrested for Virtual-World 'Murder' (Fox News Friday, October 24, 2008)

Net-savvy parents shield children from harmful sites (The Japan Times, Friday, Sept. 26, 2008)

New form of bullying by e-mail on rise (The Yomiuri Shimbun July 19, 2008)

Japanese government worried about child cellphone addiction
(Commented by Matthew Humphries on May 28, 2008 based on the AP article)

Japan seeks limits on kids' cellphone use
(By Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer May 27 2008)

Survey: Half of school-related websites contain insults, threats against classmates
(The Asahi Shimbun April 16, 2008: The article is now available at Japan Children's Rights Network

Kids and Cell Phones (Douglas Stewart Ezine Articles April 8, 2008)

Cellphone obsession leads Japanese children into a 'scary world' (AFP Jan 10, 2008)

Cyber bullying bedevils Japan (Reuters, November 11,2007)

Keeping kids from Internet dangers gains some urgency (By KUNIKO MURAKAMI Kyodo News Nov. 1, 2007)

Schools slow to respond to rise in 'Net bullying'  (The Japan Times Oct. 26, 2007)

In the hands of mean teens, cell phones becoming WMDs (Mainichi Daily News March 21, 2007

SAFE STREETS, FEARFUL PARENTS Schools sounding false alarms over child safety
ALICE GORDENKER (The Japan Times, Thursday, May 20, 2004)

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