The president of Japanese internet services firm Softbank Corp has said his company will launch mobile phone operations in the country by 2006, subject to it receiving the requisite licence from the telecoms ministry. In an interview with the Asahi Shimbun, Masayoshi Son said that the recent purchase of Japan Telecom would be the ‘cornerstone of our efforts to build the necessary infrastructure, and . . . more than double the number of customers to 10.59 million’.