As previous post predicted, it is now legal (since May 21st, 2016) for a non-Japanese foreigner (Gaijin-san) to use your non-Japanese phone in Japan for upto 90 days at a time (days counted since your entry date to Japan), as long as your phone has an FCC (with a phone for US market) or a CE (with a phone for EU market) mark, and and a Wi-Fi Alliance mark, even if your phone does not have a Japanese Giteki mark.
Many of SIM companies (MVNOs) are now offering SIMs for non-Japanese travellers to Japan, at the point of entry (international airports) or phone/electronics shops in large cities.
For those who plan to stay in Japan for more than 90 days and have a VISA to stay there, you should register yourself with the municipal office of your residence and obtain an alien card. Your alien card would let you obtain a postpaid or prepaid cellphone contract with any of cellphone carriers in Japan. Your’re, though, not going to able use any phone without a Giteki mark legally for more than 90 days since your last entry to Japan.
You can download the official government brochures here: here
Continue reading Effective MAY 21st, 2016, it is legal for a non-Japanese foreigner to use your non-Japanese phone in Japan for less than 90-day at a time.
This page also works as my disclaimer that I am not actively promoting to you (a foreign traveler) to use your phone or wireless-capable electronics in Japan and that you’re on your own in terms of the responsibility and risk of using your wireless-capable devices there. I wish I did not need to say this, but there’re enough number of “negative” people against this matter, so I have to say this and prepare this article in the beginning.
The 2nd legal problem exists in Japan which makes it difficult for you, a foreign traveler to Japan, to use your own wireless electronics devices there, such as – cellphones, – tablets, – portable WiFi routers, – MP3 devices such as iPod Touch, – laptop computers, – digital cameras with WiFi or Bluetooth connection – wireless headphones – activity trackers with WiFi or Bluetooth connection – smartwatches with WiFi or Bluetooth connection or anything that “transmits” radio signals to the air.
The current Japanese law of Radio Act requires any wireless devices used in Japan, which emits radio signals to the air, to be tested and certified as conforming to the Japanese Technical Standards of radio waves. The testing is
Continue reading Two Laws regarding cellphone in Japan : No.2 Requirement of Giteki Mark (Certification of Conformance to Technical Standards) under the Radio Act
There’re two laws regarding the use of cellphones and electronics in Japan which you need to be aware of as a foreign traveler to Japan.
The first one is the requirement for obtaining the local cellphone service (whether it is a prepaid contract or a postpaid one), or even a local telephone SIM, in Japan.
Since April 1st, 2006, the cellphone-related law called “the Act for Identification, etc. by Mobile Voice Communications Carriers of Their Subscribers, etc. and for Prevention of Improper Use of Mobile Voice Communications Services”, or in short, “Mobile Phone Improper Use Prevention Act (携帯電話不正利用防止法）” requires anyone who intends to have a voice-call-capable cellphone service (whether it is a prepaid contract or a postpaid one) to show a proper identification which indicates that s/he has the residential (permanent) address in Japan. A hotel address is not sufficient for this purpose.
This law became necessary because Japanese authorities, and especially the law makers, consider the fraud using the cellphones became a social problem, and the police and other law enforcement agencies want the address of all the phone owners to be registered so that, if any crime is committed using a cellphone, they can find the owner
Continue reading Two Laws regarding cellphone in Japan : No.1 “Buying” a local SIM
So, the first thing you need to know is if your cellphone is compatible in Japan.
First, there’s no 2G GSM cellphone company in Japan. If your phone is a simple talk-only or talk-and-text cheap feature phone, it may not work in Japan even if you’re going to use it on the international roaming plan from your own non-Japanese carrier. You need a 3G compatible phone in Japan.
There’re 3 major cellphone companies in Japan; NTT Docomo, Softbank, and KDDI au. If you’re from the United States of America visiting Japan and your phone is from AT&T or T-Mobile US, your phone will probably work on NTT Docomo (W-CDMA/UMTS 2100MHz or 850/800MHz) or Softbank (W-CDMA/UMTS 2100MHz) signals while roaming there, provided that your phone is compatible with 3G 2100MHz frequency. If you’re from the USA and your phone is from Verizon or Sprint, your phone will work on NTT Docomo (W-CDMA/UMTS 2100MHz or 850/800MHz) or Softbank (W-CDMA/UMTS 2100MHz) or KDDI au (CDMA2000 800MHz only) signals in Japan. If you’re from any other countries and your phone is a 3G W-CDMA/UMTS compatible phone, it will work with NTT Docomo or Softbank signals.
Here’s the list of cellphone frequencies used by
Continue reading Cellular phone frequencies used in Japan