Japan to Review Smartphone Ban at School

Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 19 (Jiji Press)--Japan's education ministry will consider reviewing a ban on elementary and junior high school students carrying mobile phones including smartphones at school, education minister Masahiko Shibayama said Tuesday.

"We'll consider reviewing the notice (that included the smartphone ban) in the light of changes in the social environment surrounding schools and the situations of students and pupils," Shibayama told a press conference.

In the January 2009 notice, the ministry said mobile phones are not directly necessary for education activities at school and thus carrying them to elementary and junior high schools should be prohibited in principle.

At high schools, the notice said that the use of mobile phones should be limited and a ban on carrying them should be considered as an option.

A decade after the notice, the ministry judged that the ban "does not fit with the times," taking into account the spread of mobile phones and smartphones and the need for communication tools in the event of disasters.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press