Government to introduce registrations for pre-paid users

25 Jan 2005

Japan’s ruling coalition government is planning to submit to a new bill to the Diet requiring users of pre-paid mobile phones to register personal identification documents at the time of subscription. The initiative, which is expected to come into force at the beginning of 2006, is geared towards reducing the growing number of pre-paid phones used in crimes. According to the Japan Economic Newswire, the Tokyo administration recently tracked down 291 mobile phone numbers used for criminal purposes, and has requested that their service providers cancel the phone numbers. Vodafone, the largest pre-paid operator in Japan, said recently that it would soon begin unilaterally terminating pre-paid phones on its network that have been used in fraudulent billing and other crimes. In December 2004 the company modified its terms of use for pre-paid mobile phone services so that it can terminate the service if users’ identities cannot be confirmed.