Three Of Japan’s Top Telcos Standardize Display Of Email Emoticons

Three of Japan’s four biggest mobile carriers, namely NTT Docomo, KDDI au, and eAccess, are about to make it easier for their combined subscriber base of roughly 90 million people to exchange emails with other.

The plan is to standardize the display of emoticons, or emoji in Japanese, across handsets offered by the three networks.

As of now, certain emoji aren’t correctly displayed when sent from the cell phone of a Docomo user to that of a KDDI user, for example. I am not a big emoji fan, but The Nikkei says that if a Docomo subscriber sends an emoji showing i.e. Taurus the Bull to somebody using a KDDI phone, a cow is displayed.

What may sound trivial is actually quite a big deal in Japan, where emoji have been in use since 1999 and emails have been the most popular way to communicate between mobile phone users since.

It’s especially young people who use emoji excessively. Around 2008, the lack of emoji support was blamed as one of the factors leading to the (initially) sluggish sales of the iPhone in Japan. In the same year, it was Google Japan’s local team that made it possible for Gmail users worldwide to use emoji in their messages.

KDDI an eAccess are also in the process of creating around 200 new emoji that fit NTT Docomo’s most popular ones. The standardization will kick off with new handsets released this summer.

SoftBank Mobile, Japan’s No. 3 carrier, isn’t part of the agreement: the company says it simply doesn’t display problematic emoji sent from handsets offered by other carriers on its handsets.

Japan’s Web News Week 16

This week’s Japanese Web/IT related news which we did not write as a dedicated article.

Referred pages are all in Japanese, unless otherwise stated.

If you want to know any specific news more, but unable to find them in other English blog/media, please let us know.

Rakuten To Dissolve Lekutian In China, Joint-Mall With Baidu

Japan’s largest e-mall company Rakuten today announced [J] that they would shut down its Chinese e-mall Lekutian(rakuten.cn) planned in May, 2012.

Rakuten jointly established Lekutian with China’s search engine giant Baidu in January 2010, and began the mall in October 2010.

The reason is explained as Lekutian did not show the growth they had expected, which is because the environment of e-commerce in China has been becoming too competitive.

18+ Social Game Platform “moeG” Opens Up


MoeGame [J] has released the platform “moeG,” specialized in social games designated for full on R-18 content.

Currently, “moeG (MoeGame)” is a next generation 18+ only portal site for enjoying R-18 social games, erotic avatars, and erotic community contents.  They now offer titles such as the PC R-18 game title “Night Shift Hospital Ward” and “Pre-Get,” which on its own has amassed 160,000 registered users, and moving forward they plan to offer copyrighted material and original social games.  Also moeG’s games adhere to computer software ethics, and as an R-18 designated service, it has become a soundly operated SNS site.  Usage is free of charge, and their social games have a basic free charge item rate structure.  Although it’s only supported by feature phones, they are currently also developing a smartphone version.

Translation authorized by VSMedia

Japan’s Web News Week 15

This week’s Japanese Web/IT related news which we did not write as a dedicated article.

Referred pages are all in Japanese, unless otherwise stated.

If you want to know any specific news more, but unable to find them in other English blog/media, please let us know.

“Moé Can Change!” And “Simulated Boyfriend” Released For Pixiv Mobile

Ambition [J] has released the social games “Moé Can Change!” [J] and “Gijin Kareshi” [J] (simulated boyfriend) on “pixiv Mobile,” [J] a mobile site run by Pixiv. [J]

“pixiv Mobile” is the mobile phone version of the illustrated SNS “pixiv.”  They set up “pixiv Game” from November of 2011 and began offering social games.  “Gijin Kareshi,” offered by Ambition in Japan, is a sim style nurturing romance social game for young ladies, and “Moé Can Change!” is a nurturing clothes changing social game where you can develop a young girl “MyRoid” android’s  appearance and clothing to your liking.  Both are now being developed for media such as original video anime and radio, and in particular “Moé Can Change!” is a popular title with over 1 million registered users.


Moé Can Change!  Kiyan Chie Strap

Translation authorized by VSMedia