Ministry panel starts talks on cuts to mobile phone tariffs
Japan Times -- Oct 11
A study group at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications held its first meeting Wednesday, where it discussed ways to spur industry competition with the aim of lowering mobile phone fees in the nation.

The group intends to discuss a possible review of fees paid by low-cost smartphone service providers to major mobile phone carriers in order to lease their networks.

It will also study the creation of a system to monitor mobile phone rates on an ongoing basis.

The group plans to compile an interim report in February next year by working with a special committee at the ministry that is considering better competition rules for the entire telecommunications industry.

The mobile phone market in Japan has been criticized for lacking competition, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Masatoshi Ishida said at the day’s meeting, calling on members of the study group to conduct their discussions from the standpoint of mobile phone users.

10日、国は携帯電話料金の引き下げに向けた研究会を開催しました。議題の一つが大手キャリアと格安業者の間で通信速度に差があるとされる「速度差別」についてです。本当に存在するのでしょうか。 過熱するスマホ市場。菅官房長官の「4割安く」発言。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
Oct 20
Scandal-hit KYB Corp. on Friday disclosed the names of 70 government and municipal office buildings that used, or are suspected of having used, substandard earthquake shock absorbers in their construction. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
The landmark Tokyo Skytree tower, facilities for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games and more government offices are among the nearly 1,000 buildings using earthquake shock absorbers produced by KYB Corp, which admitted cheating quality inspection data for more than a decade, officials said Wednesday. (Japan Today)
Oct 17
An unmanned store using artificial intelligence instead of cashiers is set to open on a trial basis at a station in Tokyo. (NHK)
Oct 13
The head of NHK said Friday the Japanese public broadcaster aims to lower its subscription fees, possibly from fiscal 2019, after a government panel made it a condition for the company to start simultaneous online streaming of its television programs. (Japan Today)
Oct 12
Major Japanese retailer FamilyMart Uny Holdings Co. said Thursday it will make discount store operator Don Quijote Holdings Co. its affiliate in a deeper capital tie-up amid intensifying competition in the shrinking domestic retail market. (Kyodo)
Oct 11
Accommodation service provider Airbnb says it will review its contract terms with private lodging operators in Japan. (NHK)
Oct 11
A study group at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications held its first meeting Wednesday, where it discussed ways to spur industry competition with the aim of lowering mobile phone fees in the nation. (Japan Times)
Oct 10
Taiwan will hold a referendum during local elections next month on whether to maintain a ban on food products from five Japanese prefectures imposed in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Central Election Commission said Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Oct 05
Japanese telecom firm Softbank is partnering with Toyota for a venture that could help to usher in a new era of mobility. They want to use automated driving to transform the way people move around and the services they enjoy. (NHK)
Oct 02
For anyone who is finding it difficult to quit smoking in a country which has been known as the smoking paradise, there is still hope. Aside from the smoking ban which has been recently adopted in Japan, there are a few ways to seek help, get nicotine substitutes, and be motivated to completely quit smoking. Let's take a look. (newsonjapan.com)