Apple has a history of trouble with the government in Japan, and over the the last days, more bad news reached the company (which is highly successful in Japan). This time it’s not about iPods causing fire but about the iPhone. The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications criticized Apple Japan and its exclusive provider in the country, SoftBank Mobile, for offering insufficient content control for minors.
According to reports in various Japanese media, the ministry will ask both companies to pre-install Japan-specific content control software on the iPhone as soon as possible. The background is that in this country, stores are obliged to install filtering software before selling cell phones (including smartphones) to minors.
In a first reaction, a speaker for SoftBank Mobile said that in the case of the iPhone, the process would be impractical as stores would require subscribers to provide personal information, including credit card numbers, before downloading censorware on the customer’s iPhone.
Japan is known to have one of the strictest legal frameworks for mobile internet usage by minors in the world.