Mobile Phones in Japan – 88% Use Cell Phones in Transit

June 30, 2008

A poll done by Nepro Japan, a huge mobile products company, shows that 88% of people in Japan use their cell phones while in transit.

Here is a link to the Japanese description of the poll (pdf).

The sample of 4,614 people consisted of 41% male and 59% female respondents. 42% of the total were in their 20s, 37% were in their 30s.

The report asked whether people used their mobile phones while in transit. The sum of the positive answers showed that 88% of people used their cell phones while on the move. The majority of positive answers were “sometimes” and “it depends”.

When asked when they most often use their cell phones the breakdown was:

  • 32% walking
  • 29% while driving their personal car
  • 13% on the train
  • 6% on their bicycle.
  • 3% in a taxi
  • 3% miscellaneous
  • 2% on the bus
  • just under 13% responded that they don’t use their cell phones while in transit

Bear in mind that this question was “When using your cell phone in transit, when do you use it most often?”, so most of the people probably use their cell phones in more than one of the above situations.

When asked what they are most often doing on their cell phones in transit,

  • 38% said talking on the phone
  • 29% said email or text messaging
  • 5% said looking at the time
  • 5% said internet news, weather, and traffic information
  • 3% said blogs or mixi
  • 3% said games
  • 2% said other
  • to this question 12% responded that they do not use their phones in transit

The poll also covered current laws. There are laws that use of a cell phone while driving is punishable with fines up to 50,000 yen ($500 or so). This poll asked whether there should be bylaws calling for fines for use of cell phones while riding a bicycle.

  • 44% responded that they strongly agree
  • 20% that they agree
  • 14% somewhat agree
  • 11% don’t care either way
  • 3% somewhat disagree
  • 2% strongly disagree
  • 1% disagree
  • 5% said they were unaware that bylaws could be made

When asked what people thought about laws pertaining to mobile phone use in transit,

  • 32% responded that laws should be slightly more strict
  • 31% said that laws should be strict
  • 29% said the current laws are sufficient
  • 5% said that they are a little too strict
  • 2% said that the laws were unneccessary
  • 1% said tha the laws were much too strict

I love it when a society breaks existing laws while saying that the laws are just and should in fact be even stricter. This poll done by Nepro Japan, by the way was excellently done. Even if you don’t read Japanese please feel free to take a look at the pdf of the report on their homepage. It’s really well done, in fact it’s one of the best done polls I’ve seen in Japan. Easy to read, easy to understand, so good job to you Nepro IT and Nepro Japan.

This yet further evidence that facebook needs a mobile presence to compete with mixi. Mobile apps on facebook might even be the deciding factor if kids could play games with each other through facebook on their cell phones while chatting you might have something. I’m pretty sure this is possible because some of the new cell phones allow users to watch one-seg tv while doing email or surfing the internet. Pretty amazing stuff.

Full disclosure, the cell phone in the pictures is the one I use, the W52T Toshiba cell phone for AU KDDI. It’s an older model now, but I have no complaints about it at all!