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Preying on the Vulnerable: Japan’s “Schoolgirl Escort” IndustryIshikawa Yūki

For some high school girls, smartphones seem to open the doors to a world of lucrative part-time jobs providing a range of services to older male customers. Many girls are tempted by the promise of good money for easy work. But what is the truth about these shady businesses that have grown up to exploit the demand for schoolgirl escort services?
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Smartphones and Teens: Consumed by ConnectednessIshikawa Yūki

Japanese teenagers have grown ever more reliant on smartphones to cement the social relationships so important to their sense of self-worth. But for some, constant connectedness can morph into an onerous burden or even a consuming addiction. Ishikawa Yūki draws on her journalistic experience to shed light on such hazards.
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Free Apps for Life and Travel in Japan

Whether a tourist or a resident in Japan, there are a large number of smartphone apps that make life easier. This article includes apps for traveling, finding restaurants, and staying safe.
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Apple Shifts Focus to Japan with Launch of iPhone 7Ishikawa Tsutsumu

The recently launched iPhone 7 in Japan supports Sony’s FeliCa contactless technology, allowing users to make payments with their phones via Suica and other mobile payment methods. Apple, looking to raise its profile in Japan, teamed up with JR East to bring Suica to the iPhone, while Sony hopes the move will help turn its technology into a global standard.
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Free Apps for Studying Japanese

There are many free smartphone apps available for learning Japanese. This article introduces some of the better options.
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What Makes Pokémon Go? Roots and Ramifications of the Global Gaming CrazeHirabayashi Hisakazu

A veteran video game analyst and consultant discusses the creative processes that paved the way for Pokémon Go fever and explores the app's implications for the future of video gaming.
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Many Ways to Play: A Mobile Game Creator Looks at Global Trends

CEO Sanada Tetsuya of the smartphone game developer KLab offers his take on the direction of the gaming industry in Japan and worldwide.
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The Trouble with Smartphones: Headaches for Sony, Nintendo, and NTT Docomo

Sony, NTT Docomo, and Nintendo are three of Japan’s best-known companies. But with all three struggling to come to terms with the lucrative smartphone market, the consolidated financial results for the first half of fiscal 2014 (April to September) have left them in the doldrums.

Sony Under Pressure from Chinese-Manufactured Smartphones

For years, the Sony brand dominated t…
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Shaking Up Japan’s Mobile Phone MarketIshikawa Tsutsumu

As the iPhone sweeps Japan’s smartphone market, NTT Docomo has shifted the competitive focus to calling plans with its new unlimited-talk arrangement. Meanwhile, pending changes in telecommunications regulations promise either to strengthen the position of the former NTT monopoly or to blow the mobile market wide open. Ishikawa Tsutsumu reports.
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Bound by the Web: Internet Addiction in JapanHashimoto Yoshiaki

The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare estimates that as many as 518,000 junior high and high school students across the country may be addicted to the Internet. Using data from various surveys of social media use, Professor Hashimoto Yoshiaki of the University of Tokyo examines the background to Internet addiction and looks at what can be done about it.
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