JR cracks down on mobile phone users

To cope with mounting complaints from passengers, East Japan Railway Co. will limit the use of mobile phones on trains starting April 14, the company said April 8.

Complaints about passengers who use mobile phones have accompanied the rapid rise in the phones’ sales, railway company officials say. Although the train firm cannot completely ban their use, JR East will begin making announcements asking passengers not to use them while riding the trains, they said. According to the Posts and Telecommunications Ministry, some 26.9 million Japanese have a cellular or personal handy phone, accounting for 21.5 percent of the population.