Japanese government plans to restrict mobile web access for children

We covered political initiatives in Japan to censor the web a few times on Asiajin in the past.
In a new move announced today, the Japanese government urges parents and schools to tightly control how children use their cell phones. A panel recommended a handful of concrete steps which were nodded through today by the Fukuda administration.
A government official said, cell phones became addictive toys and Japanese parents are overwhelmed by the new technologies they come equipped with, making monitoring their children’s browsing behavior too difficult. The government wants Japanese manufacturers to produce devices without Internet capability, which is a surprisingly radical request. According to the government, those devices should only feature GPS (obviously to locate a child’s position) and be restricted to calls only.
The aim here is to block access to so-called “harmful web sites” and to tackle the (existing) problem of “cyber-bullying” among Japanese school kids. Prime minister Fukuda even questioned if children should own cell phones in the first place!
According to government statistics, one third of Japanese kids aged between 7 and 12 use mobile phones. In high school, the number climbs to 96%.
I am sure doubtful developments like this will be unavoidable in other regions of the world such as the US or Europe as well, once usage of the mobile web picks up steam in those countries.

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