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under 20...need a cellphone

17 Jul 2007
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i'm staying in nagoyaa for 5 months as a college student. i'm 19 and the other day, i attempted to sign up for a plan at softbank, but they said i had to be 20 years old. i have asked about the prepaid option too. is there any other phone company whose rules are different? or is there something with softbank i can do?

Mike Cash

15 Mar 2002
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Would living without one for 5 months be a hardship?
18 Jan 2005
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By a Japanese law,
If you are under 20 years old and contract a cellular phone,
Documents proving an agreement of a parent are necessary.
It is applied to all cellular phone companies.


16 Apr 2005
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Even if you were 20, you would HAVE to have prepay, there is no way you could get a contract for a number of reasons.

Keep looking, maybe there are Japanese people that would help you get access to a prepay once you get there, maybe have a good friend buy it for you and put it under their name, or something.

Another Idea (which is a lot spottier, but possibly could work out well) Is to buy an ipod touch. It would most def. be many times cheaper than any kind of cell phone deal, and most japanese people prefer to email on their phones because of high airtime rates. You would just have to find a wireless network once in a while, or stay in one while communicating.

There are many maps online that show free hotspots in major cities, and warwalkers/drivers that provide info on locations of free but not so legal hotspots.

When I went to japan for a month I rented a cell phone. It was kind of expensive, but it was nice to have one. I used JCR, renting a phone for 5 months would be very expensive, but if you really needed one... it would be $750 for just rental, extra for the minutes. (option A)


High 'n' dry
11 Nov 2007
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Would living without one for 5 months be a hardship?

Well, in Japan, social coordination pretty much revolves around the keitai, especially in that age group, so it would be nice to have.

I was 19 when I last stayed in Japan, and got a cell phone for ten months.
My housemate who I was subletting from went with me and they gave me a parental consent form and said I could send it to my parents and have 'em send it back. Instead of waiting two weeks, we put my mom's name and address on it and my housemate signed it with some illegible scrawl of a signature and we took it back after lunch, turned it in, and they gave me a phone, no questions asked. Perhaps not technically what you're supposed to do, but it worked out ok.
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