Japanese youngsters are getting so addicted to Internet-linking cell phones that the government is starting a program warning parents and schools to limit their use among children.
The government is worried about how elementary and junior high school students are getting sucked into cyberspace crimes, spending long hours exchanging mobile e-mail and suffering other negative effects of cell phone overuse, Masaharu Kuba, a government official overseeing the initiative, said Tuesday.
“Japanese parents are giving cell phones to their children without giving it enough thought,” he said. “In Japan, cell phones have become an expensive toy.”
The recommendations have been submitted from an education reform panel to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s administration, and were approved this week.
The panel is also asking Japanese makers to develop cell phones with only the talking function, and GPS, or global positioning system, a satellite-navigation feature that can help ensure a child’s safety.