Children, Mobile Phones and the Internet Experts' Meeting

Japanese Here

Background Purpose of Meeting Programme and Speakers Hosts
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Date: 6-7th March 2003

Map Here

Reception and Party: Palace Hotel
1-1-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005, Japan

Languages: English and Japanese (with simultaneous translation)

Hosts: iajapanchildnet
Internet Association, Japan (Japan)
Childnet International (UK)

Sponsors: docomo KDDI VFGROUPF j-phone
nec panasonic Fujitsu @nifty
NTT DoCoMo, Inc.
Vodafone Group Foundation
NEC Corporation
Panasonic Mobile Communications Co., Ltd.


The spread and high use rates of mobile phones among children have been a very observable phenomenon, particularly amongst certain European countries and Japan. Research shows that one in four Japanese children have mobile phones (even one in three junior high school girls), and in the UK recent research shows 52% of all seven to sixteen year-olds own a mobile phone, and 24% of young mobile users being on their third handset. Scandinavian countries are noted for their high mobile phone per capita ratios, and a recent survey from Sweden found that mobile penetration had reached 75% of the population. The take up of mobile phones among children and young people has been noticeably slower in the USA, although here too it is now beginning to become a popular accessory.

Japan has led the way with the development of 3G technology hand phones, which provide access to the web and e-mail. These phones are extremely popular with teenagers, with their enhanced graphics and in particular access to music, sport and dating web sites. Sadly the latter have led to a number of cases of teenagers being hurt by adults they have been in touch with.

Purpose of Meeting

The purpose of this Experts meeting is to look at the current uses of mobile phone technology by children, what issues this has raised, and what opportunities this offers. The meeting will also map what the future has to offer, especially with regard to the move to 3G and subsequent technologies, and what responses there need to be from the relevant actors, including of course children and parents. The meeting will be deliberately broad-based and international with regard to membership, drawing on representatives from academia, industry, child welfare, regulators, policy foundations and law enforcement from around the world.

The meeting will not address directly the well-known themes of children's internet use and safety on PC's the focus will be on new mobile technologies.

It is hoped that the outcome of the meeting will be to further the commitment of all involved to work towards promoting the positive and responding to any negatives that this new technology has already or will in the future offer children.

Programme and Speakers

The Programme for the meeting will be organised under four main headings:

  • Current Use
  • Future Use
  • Challenges and Opportunities
  • Responses
The meeting will include opportunities to hear children's views through the participation of Japanese young people in one session.

There will be presentations from academic experts on how children perceive and use these new technologies. Industry planners will explain their view of future changes and trends in mobile phone and Internet use by children; Consumer and child welfare experts will give their perspective on the opportunities and dangers for children and young people. Regulators will share their view of what if any, new challenges these technologies pose.

There will be ample time for reflection, discussion and debate. There will be full simultaneous translation for English and Japanese participants.


This conference is being hosted by the Internet Association, Japan a non-profit and industry-based organization with about 277 Internet related organizational and individual members. IAJapan and its predecessor organisations have been in the lead in Japan in identifying the social challenges that new technologies pose.

Childnet International is the leading international non-profit organisation looking at children's use of the Internet, with the mission of promoting the positive and responding to the negative. Childnet are based in London but working internationally.

Childnet and IA Japan have joined together to host this seminar, as we believe it very important that industry and non-profit organisations look together at developing trends that may impact on children.


The conference will be held at the Mitsubishi Research Institute in Central Tokyo close to the Imperial Palace. Accommodation will be provided at the nearby Palace Hotel.

Programme Here

Contact: Internet Association, Japan: Akio Kokubu, Takayo Okubo, Maki Yamamoto
Tel:+81-3-3452-6420 Fax:+81-3-3451-9604
Address:Mita Kokusai Bldg. 23F 1-4-28 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073, Japan

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