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Comments for BlogFromAmerica (English) http://eng.blogfromamerica.com Information on Japanese cellphone/data access/WiFi/others for Foreign Travellers Wed, 28 Dec 2016 16:34:12 -0700 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 Comment on Two Laws regarding cellphone in Japan : No.1 “Buying” a local SIM by Alex Yoshida http://eng.blogfromamerica.com/archives/43#comment-1597 Wed, 28 Dec 2016 16:34:12 +0000 http://www.blogfromamerica.com/english/?p=43#comment-1597 I don’t think an iPad SIM would work for an iPhone. Japanese carriers make SIMs specific for a particular service and a plan/device, and a SIM for a particular SIM/device may not work with a device which is not intended to be used for the particular SIM.
Besides, an iPad SIM is not going to be able to make a voice call for sure.

I assume you now have a Japanese bank account. If not, get one with a residence card.
Then, get a VISA prepaid card like ”V-Preca”
http://vpc.lifecard.co.jp/en/
It does not issue a physical plastic card, but you can use it as a VISA credit card for online payments with Japanese merchants in Japan. And, you can reload balance anytime at any amount from your Japanese bank account.

V-Preca is one of the oldest prepaid VISA (or MasterCard) card. There are quite a few more prepaid VISA/MasterCard cards which recently became available in Japan, which I am not familiar with so much and don’t have experiences using them. But, some of them may actually issue a plastic card which can be used at physical shops. Do some research, or ask around your friends.

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Comment on Two Laws regarding cellphone in Japan : No.1 “Buying” a local SIM by Ei http://eng.blogfromamerica.com/archives/43#comment-1596 Wed, 28 Dec 2016 16:08:49 +0000 http://www.blogfromamerica.com/english/?p=43#comment-1596 I became the student at one Japan university since 3 months ago and I can’t make the credit card to buy the SIM card . I don’t want to buy the new phone with post paid card with contract cause I just bought the new I phone from US and I like my phone. I already have a 4 yeared residence card as a student . I tried4 times to receive credit card in different location. But I could not get the credit card. My question is if I could buy the iPad with post paid SIM card and change this card to my iPhone ? .

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Comment on Two Laws regarding cellphone in Japan : No.1 “Buying” a local SIM by Alex Yoshida http://eng.blogfromamerica.com/archives/43#comment-1573 Mon, 26 Dec 2016 21:34:38 +0000 http://www.blogfromamerica.com/english/?p=43#comment-1573 It is now legal to use a non-Japanese phone AND buy a SIM for a traveller to Japan upto 90 days at a time.
Please read
http://eng.blogfromamerica.com/archives/116

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Comment on Two Laws regarding cellphone in Japan : No.1 “Buying” a local SIM by Kesen http://eng.blogfromamerica.com/archives/43#comment-1397 Tue, 13 Dec 2016 07:06:18 +0000 http://www.blogfromamerica.com/english/?p=43#comment-1397 Not sure when this was last updated. But for those without Resident status, you can infect obtain a prepaid SIM from Softbank at four of the major airports, if you absolutely have to as they are quite expensive . There are two options you can purchase a stand alone sim with either 3000, 5000, or 8000jpy value, but it will automatically expire in 14 days unless you recharge during this time. Or another option is to buy a phone and SIM combo for frequent travellers to JP, but it’s like 15,000 for a obviously crappy phone and 10,000 for the sims value. That being said it’s not true that you simply cannot obtain a voice sim in Japan because of the law as a couple carriers now are starting to make options available .

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Comment on Two Laws regarding cellphone in Japan : No.2 Requirement of Giteki Mark (Certification of Conformance to Technical Standards) under the Radio Act by Customer Services http://eng.blogfromamerica.com/archives/60#comment-1215 Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:09:13 +0000 http://www.blogfromamerica.com/english/?p=60#comment-1215 SIEMIC Labs in Milpitas (Silicon Valley) California is recognized conformity Assessment body to perform Giteki certification testing, visit http://www.siemic.com for more information.

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Comment on Two Laws regarding cellphone in Japan : No.1 “Buying” a local SIM by Alex Yoshida http://eng.blogfromamerica.com/archives/43#comment-1012 Fri, 13 May 2016 00:09:31 +0000 http://www.blogfromamerica.com/english/?p=43#comment-1012 Your’re right. Under the “Agreement under Article VI of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America, Regarding Facilities and Areas and the Status of United States Armed Forces in Japan”, US military personnel and its family members (and only them) do not require Alien registrations (Gaijin-Toroku) to live in Japan.
US Military personnel has many other exceptions while in Japan. And, most times, US law or US military law governs within the US military bases in Japan.

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Comment on Two Laws regarding cellphone in Japan : No.1 “Buying” a local SIM by J. Petruff http://eng.blogfromamerica.com/archives/43#comment-1011 Thu, 12 May 2016 23:52:13 +0000 http://www.blogfromamerica.com/english/?p=43#comment-1011 Actually this is not totally true! I have had a cell phone for over 20 years in Japan with no Japanese Drivers License or Gajin Toruku; and so have the other THOUSANDS OF US MILITARY, spouses, and dependents. So the “No-exception” is not true at all. NTT DOCOMI, AU KDDI, and SoftBank All love the millions of yen earned from the Military! So how do they get around the law? After many years with NTT DOCOMO, I am trying to move to DMM Mobile and save hundreds of dollars a year but am having trouble because of the law. What ever is allowing Military to have cell phones with the major companies should apply to the MVNO SIM-card companies as well. Hopefully I will find a solution soon.

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Comment on Voice calls options in Japan, as a foreign traveler by Alex Yoshida http://eng.blogfromamerica.com/archives/88#comment-988 Wed, 04 May 2016 03:14:26 +0000 http://www.blogfromamerica.com/english/?p=88#comment-988 I do follow Japanese SIMs to some degree from Japanese articles and twitter. But, I am not able to test them in Japan, so I haven’t written about those SIM info on this site.
But, there’s at least one SIM which both has Voice (of course, with a Japanese phone number) and Data for a short-time foreign traveler to Japan. It’s called B-Mobile PayG SIM.
http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/payg_sim/
It circumbents the current law by using the entry stamp to Japan in your passport.
Well, I found another one which started earlier this year:
https://sim.telecomsquare.co.jp/
And, you can get it at the Telecom Square shops at major international airports in Japan.

Anyway, your question is about VoIP (Japanese phone number that starts with 050 prefix)
I do have a Skype Japanese number, and I did research other Japanese VoIP numbers when I decided to get the Japanese number through Skype.
There are several, in deed, which issues 050 (VoIP) numbers to anyone with a Japanese address (because of law, a Japanese address is required except for Skype).
Popular examples are
http://506506.ntt.com/english/ipphone/plus/index.html
and SmarTalk
http://ip-phone-smart.jp/smart_en/
I have not tried enough to know that the own Caller ID can be turned on/off. But, the web pages say they both can.

Again, unfortunately, due to the local law, you must have Japanese address to subscribe to. The monthly fee for SmarTalk is free, though.

I don’t know why Skype can give 050 number to non-Japanese residents, but I suspect it is the only 050 service without Japanese address, and as you found out it can not send Japanese number’s Caller ID when calling.

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Comment on Voice calls options in Japan, as a foreign traveler by Neal http://eng.blogfromamerica.com/archives/88#comment-983 Tue, 03 May 2016 12:20:53 +0000 http://www.blogfromamerica.com/english/?p=88#comment-983 Thank you for all the info, and your detailed replies to people’s comments! Of course, if you no longer live in Japan, I imagine you may not be up on the details, but I am going to ask anyway…

Do you know of any VoIP service offering Japanese numbers, besides Skype?

I bought a Japanese number through Skype a few days ago. $8.50 for three months, plus about 10 yen/minute w/ 10 yen connection charge. Cheap, ne? I thought I’d just pair it with a data-only SIM (and hack my Galaxy S5 to enable all LTE bands).

Unfortunately, I just discovered that I can’t receive SMS (only send) through Skype. Plus, when someone receives my SMS, they see a non-Japanese number. Plus (!) when I call someone, they see “unknown number”. But I am able to receive calls… I can live with this, but I’d rather not.

In a few days I’ll visit a friend who would be willing to “lend” me a voice-enabled SIM, but I already paid $4000 for this 60-day data-only SIM. So a VoIP option would be better. Or perhaps there’s a cheap voice/SMS SIM without data? (I have another SIM-free phone).

I’ve been traveling in southeast Asia. in Cambodia, I paid $5 for a SIM and 3GB data, with a phone number and some SMS and talk time. I forgot how frustrating these things can be in Japan! And *so* expensive!

Thank you, Alex!

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Comment on Voice calls options in Japan, as a foreign traveler by Alex Yoshida http://eng.blogfromamerica.com/archives/88#comment-926 Tue, 05 Apr 2016 01:43:12 +0000 http://www.blogfromamerica.com/english/?p=88#comment-926 Google has always sold two Nexus versions, one in North America (USA/Canada/Mexico) and one in the rest of the world.
North American version of 6P is H1511, and we can’t officially buy H1512 in USA unless bought from an importer.

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