How about that, this article via AP indicates the Japanese government is gearing up to help the domestic mobile industry push into new markets. According to the blurb: Details and budget plans for the government effort are being outlined in the next few months, but a proposal was approved at a ministry meeting last month. It will be interesting to see how this effort develops, especially considering the recent moves by GSMA. Perhaps your humble scribs here will get a call from the ministry since we have been covering this fascinating story for the last 7 years now!
The latest initiative spearheaded by the government with an industry group of Japanese carriers and manufacturers is an effort to help Japan catch up in wooing global users, said Masayuki Ito, official at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Among the wireless innovations Japan hopes to peddle is the wallet phone. The technology relies on a tiny computer chip called FeliCa, embedded in each cell phone, which communicates with a reader-device at stores, train stations and vending machines for cashless payments.
“Some critics say Japanese mobile technology tends to be quirky like the Galapagos Islands,” he said, referring to the isolated Pacific islands reputed to have averted evolutionary changes in a reference of the incompatibility of older Japanese cell phones and their quirky services.
While it seems that “Galapagos Islands” has become a new catch phrase, we certainly don’t agree with ‘some analysts’ quoted here about how increased usage of RFID payments in Japan relates to it’s lack of credit-cards. Do people really use Visa at 7-11..?!? At any rate, all things considered, this move comes better late than never..