Mobile Phone-Related Behaviors and Problems in Japan

Mobile Phone-Related Behaviors and Problems in Japan

Kei Fuji (University of Tsukuba, Japan) and Fujio Yoshida (Tokyo Seitoku University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch088


In Japan, the use of mobile devices has been spreading rapidly and continues to grow. However, this causes many problems that no one predicted. This article describes the use of mobile devices as well as issues related to their use in Japan. The authors will discuss these issues regarding the three aspects of “sharing of information and emotions in emergent disasters,” “addictive use of mobile devices,” and “cyberbullying in young people,” and will introduce representative psychological researches in Japan. At the end of this article, the actions and directions necessary to address these issues will be discussed.
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Today, we are very familiar with smartphones and other mobile devices. Information Communication Technology (ICT) has widely spread. At the end of 2012, it was reported that the number of Internet users in Japan was 96.52 million (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, 2013a). This trend also affects children, and 75.9% of students in 4th-6th grades of elementary school (9-12 years old) use personal computers (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, 2013b). In recent years, young people remarkably use smartphones, and 84.5% of high school students have smartphones (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, 2014). Smartphones and other mobile devices are already “common” things for us and our children.

The spread of ICT largely supports Japan but causes many problems. Firstly, when the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011, mobile phones and smartphones were used to exchange information necessary to life and confirming acquaintances’ safety, but it caused some psychological problems. Secondly, such devices make friendships among children closer as they are able to contact each other at any time, but increases serious “Internet addiction” and “cyberbullying” problems. This article describes how mobile devices are used in Japan and the problems caused by them while focusing on the above issues. Then, we will discuss how to address these technologies in the future.

Key Terms in this Chapter

The Great East Japan Earthquake: It is the most devastating earthquake (magnitude 9) that have occurred in Japan. The earthquake caused a large tsunami and wrought devastating damage, including the accident at the nuclear power plant.

Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying is defined as sending or posting harmful material or engaging in other forms of social aggression using the Internet or other digital technologies ( Willard, 2007 ).

Instant Messenger: Instant messenger is an application software that enable real-time communication via online network. Recently, LINE ( AU23: The URL has been redirected to Please verify the URL. ) is spreading rapidly among Japanese young people.

Internet Literacy: Internet literacy is defined by Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (2013c) as the ability necessary to access the Internet while incorporating the following three points: (1) the ability to address illegal and harmful contents on the Internet appropriately, (2) the ability to communicate on the Internet appropriately, and (3) the ability to protect their privacy and perform security measures.

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