Associated Press reports that Japan has started an initiative to promote its “wallet phone” technology overseas. The initiative is led by the government along with a collection of Japanese cell phone manufacturers and carriers participating.
According to Masayuki Ito, an official at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the initiative is an attempt to help promote Japanese cell phones outside of the home market. Japanese cell phones have failed to become popular outside of the Japanese market despite being some of the most sophisticated cell phones in the world, incorporating features such as the ability to watch television and make purchases.
The primary technology Japan hopes to promote is the “wallet phone”. The technology relies on a tiny computer chip called FeliCa, embedded in each cell phone, which communicates with a reader-device at stores, train stations and vending machines for cashless payments. FeliCa was developed by Sony Corp.