Plans to Restrict Mobile Usage By Children in Japan

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Plans to Restrict Mobile Usage By Children in Japan

An advisory council on education in Japan has suggested to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda that children should be curtailed from using mobile phones, as much as possible.

The idea has been propagated with a view to protect children from the harmful content available on mobile sites, such as cyber crimes, pornography and bullying, to which children would be especially vulnerable.

Council members made an earnest request to parents, schools and all others concerned, to help restict mobile phone usage by young students of elementary and junior high school levels to calls only, as far as possible.

Prime Minister Fukuda agreed with the council’s conclusion that the use of mobiles can lead to various problems. He was reported to also wonder if children really need to possess mobile phones at all. It is estimated that about one-third of children between the ages of 7 and 12 years and 96% of high school students use mobile phones.

Only about 1% of these children have blocks on potentially harmful material, thus exposing them to fraudsters, pedophiles and harmful content. Even protected sites such as the school bulletin boards can be hacked into.

The Government will be considering these proposals carefully, before setting up guidelines in the next few weeks.