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A short-time visitor to Japan (less than 90-day stay) will be able to use your phone there legally soon.

There was a new development in Japan in May, 2015, which will soon (within a year) allow any one going to Japan to use their own non-Japanese phone in Japan if the length of the visit is for 90 days or less.

As you have read on this blog elsewhere, the use of any cellphone without a “Giteki Mark” (approval for Japan’s technical standard, like an FCC mark in USA or a CE mark in Europe) is not currently allowed legally in Japan, though I’ve never heard anyone caught and penalized by a policeman for doing it. Japan’s government was aware that this legal policy will inconvenience visitors from around the world for 2020 Tokyo Olympic in the age of instant electronic information. So, Japanese national assembly passed the amendment to the current Radio/Telecommunication Law on May 15, 2015, to allow

– anyone who brings a non-Japanese (with no Giteki mark) cellphone or tablet to use it for less than 90 days after entering to Japan, if the device is approved by a proper overseas regulatory agency.

– and, it looks like a Gaijin-san (who doesn’t have a permanent Japanese address) may be able to purchase a

Continue reading A short-time visitor to Japan (less than 90-day stay) will be able to use your phone there legally soon.

Voice calls options in Japan, as a foreign traveler

Now that the two laws that would restrict your cellphone usage in Japan are out of our way, let’s consider your options for voice calls in Japan. The data-only SIM is a totally different subject. We will discuss it later. Here, we’re talking about the cellphone options which enable you to make voice calls and SMS text messages in Japan.

Again, due to the reason (and a Japanese law) I wrote in Two Laws regarding cellphone in Japan : No.1 “Buying” a local SIM – June 23rd, 2014 you’re not going to be able to “buy” a local SIM or cellphone service with a voice-call capability anywhere in Japan if your stay is less than 90 days there or if you don’t have a Japanese passport with a Japanese address written in it. So, don’t bother to spend time trying to find one. (Again, you can buy a data-only SIM in Japan.)

Option 1: Use the international roaming option of your own carrier in your country. Option 2: Rent the voice-call capable cellphone or SIM in Japan at the arriving airport or elsewhere. Option 3: Have your friend or colleague who lives in Japan to purchase a local prepaid

Continue reading Voice calls options in Japan, as a foreign traveler