So I was thinking what kind of ambient media I should do for Japan and suddenly I remember an article I read a while back about Japanese Cell Phone Culture.

Japan has a very unique cell phone culture; where more people own a cell phone than a computer. Most teenagers and young adults in Japan rarely use personal computer to surf the internet, instead, they use their cell phone. This trend started on 1999, when one of Japanese leading cell phone provider, NTT Docomo introduced an internet service using cell phone. People can surf the net, check their email, download music and access GPS. They created a special system just for Japanese cell phones. This is why Japanese cell phone and its providers only can be used within Japan, because of the different system (I wouldn’t bore you with the details). So when I was in Japan 4 years ago (2005), one of my friend had the GSP service in her phone. When we got lost trying to look for this restaurant, she typed in our current location and the destination. The GPS straight away directed us step by step to the destination. I was so amazed by this technology!! Now cell phone has became part of Japanese culture. This statement is proven by the fact that in Japanese train stations there are many posters on manners of how to use a cell phone in public places, especially in the train.

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Some interesting stats:

In January 2007, the number of cell phone in Japan reached 100 million. With population of 127 million, almost 80% of its people now own a cell phone. In addition, more than 80 million people use cell phone to surfing the internet. 90% of Japanese who are under 40 years of age are now online using their cell phone. As of May 2008, 31.3% of elementary school students, and 57.6% of middle school students own a cell phone.

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