“It’s undesirable for elementary schoolers to possess mobile phones”. With these sentiments, a group of LDP politicians has established the “Study Group for Ensuring the Protection of Elementary School Children from Mobile Phones”, and their stated objective is to introduce legislation before the Diet which will ban both elementary and middle school students from possessing mobile phones.
“Children are using mobile phones during lunch breaks and before they go to bed”, “With the exchange of mail the children are developing a form of dependence on their mobiles”, etc.
They seem also to wish to put a stop to this usage outside of school as well, although they have yet to advance anything concrete on this front. Ominously, we hear: “Parents and guardians have a limited consciousness of mobile phones”, and “They’re simply buying them mobiles”. Horror of horrors: “Many students are using mobiles in their breaks”.
I suppose the good legislators would prefer they use their breaks to sing a wholesome refrain of kimigayo.
PM Fukuda commented in a press conference: “It’s best to be worried over these reports of harmfulness”. He does not appear to have been referring to reports of the actions of politicians. Via Asahi.
I would think that Japanese school children have more to fear from the dubious lot attracted to teaching them, than any mere inanimate objects, though I suppose legislating against such would be politically unpalatable.
It seems that lately Japanese politicians have been unable to think of anything better to do than absurd protect the children style legislation, although the results have at least helped to pour ridicule upon them; witness the response to the clumsy attack on eroge, or the flabbergasted response from Internet companies upon hearing that they will be held responsible in the successful efforts to introduce mandatory censorship of the Internet for children.