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Akky Akimoto
Akky Akimoto writes for Asiajin.com, an English/Spanish blog on the Japanese web scene. He is also an in-house blogger for Cybozu Labs, which helped him get over 120,000 tech-loving Twitter followers. He has worked as a localization engineer in the U.K., the U.S. and Vietnam as well as in Japan.
For Akky Akimoto's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Mar 7, 2015
Using imported mobile devices may be illegal
Residents of Japan may be shocked to learn they are technically violating the country's Radio Law by connecting computers, smartphones and tablets that have been purchased outside of Japan to domestic WiFi sites.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Jan 10, 2015
Point systems stir privacy fears among Net users
The battle for point card supremacy in loyalty programs is hotting up across the country, causing consumers to express concern over privacy issues as a growing number of companies get in on the act.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Dec 13, 2014
Furor over protest website highlights growing influence of youth
An online stunt by a student activist who poked fun at the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over its decision to call for a snap election has highlighted the advantage young people have in using social media to push their own political agenda.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Nov 8, 2014
Smartphone app CocoPPa takes a custom approach to overseas sales
Although very few smartphone apps made in Japan have managed to take the world by storm, one that has is CocoPPa. Made by Japanese company United, Inc., the app allows users to customize the design of not only their smartphone wallpaper but also the icons for the other apps on their phone.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Oct 11, 2014
Digital manga giving print a run for it money
Manga is a central part of Japanese pop culture, appealing not only to kids but also to salarymen and women on their daily commute. Even former Prime Minister Taro Aso declared his love for the medium.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Sep 13, 2014
Internet fraud takes a turn for the strange
Two widely reported Web stories this year have been related to online-services fraud. One concerns online banking, the other account-hacking on a smartphone messenger service.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Aug 9, 2014
In Japan's social-gaming space, one monster hit can be all it takes
Social-game apps on smartphones have become a massive market, and every year another new mega-hit game emerges with players in the multimillions. The games themselves are usually free to play, but staggering profits generated by optional in-game purchases have made the makers of these apps extremely rich, changing the power balance within the game industry.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Jul 12, 2014
The pros and cons of kids owning smartphones
Smartphones are everywhere now, and their diffusion has spread from adults to students in high school, then junior high and now even elementary school. The trend has led to the question: When and how should kids use smartphones?
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Jun 20, 2014
Well-bitten consumers shy of Japan's disappearing e-books
Although it has now been surpassed by the United States, Japan was once the world's largest market for e-books, thanks to the early success of the cellphone-content business. But in today's competitive market, e-book sellers disappear every few months, leaving consumers to wonder whether the digital products they are buying are as permanent as paper books.
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
May 23, 2014
More and more smartphone users in Japan look to news curation
Curation isn't just for museums anymore. There has been a recent uptick in the popularity of smartphone apps that customize news for users in Japan, and this customization is called kyurēshon.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Apr 18, 2014
Apps take new lead from social games
On Japanese TV, you may notice that a lot of commercials for smartphone social games emphasize the word muryō (free). Consumers have been purchasing digital content on their phones for years, even since the clam-shell cellphone days. Now, more and more Japanese people are migrating to the sort of smartphones that are popular around the world, and Japan's smartphone app business has overtaken the United States to become the world's largest. Believe it or not, this is largely down to players of free social games who purchase virtual items within the game.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Mar 20, 2014
Who holds the deeds to gossip bulletin board 2channel?
Massive anonymous bulletin board 2channel has played an important role on the Japanese Web for 15 years (mostly on the dark side). Riddled with gossip and rumors, the site has always kept its ownership vague to avoid legal conflict, but recently a longtime background supporter seems to be trying to shake things up — and he's an American.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Feb 20, 2014
'Kantai Collection': Social game of warships sets course for big money
Casual online games based on military themes and with a kawaii (cute) twist are currently a surprise hit in Japan. Is this related to the recent rightward tilt in national politics, or just part of Japan's creative desire to "cutify" everything.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Jan 16, 2014
Japan's mobile apps provide an 'A' for every 'Q'
Question and answer sites have for a decade been one of the most popular user-contributed services on the Web — and Japan is no exception. On the traditional Web, the market has been occupied by a few big players, but the recent popularity of smartphones has attracted new startups to the mobile Web field.
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Dec 17, 2013
Looking at 2013's Japanese social-media scene
In the Japanese social-networking scene, Facebook still isn't dominating the way it does in the United States and many other countries. There are several other networks in Japan, both old and new, that occupy unique positions, though 2013 was an unusually quiet year, with no big takeovers among social-networking companies here.
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Nov 19, 2013
Homegrown social networks struggle with how to get rid of redundant staff
Social-network services that once led the domestic Web-industry are now facing a downturn and they are finding that IT companies are not immune to labor toubles.
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Oct 15, 2013
Japan's social-networking pioneer turns matchmaker
There was a time when the only social network that mattered in Japan was Mixi, but these days, after years of stagnation, it is hardly heard of in daily conversation — being replaced in popularity by rivals such as Gree, Mobage, Twitter, Facebook and most recently Line.
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Sep 17, 2013
Accidental leak IDs over 30,000 'anonymous' 2channel users
Japan's most popular online bulletin-board service, 2channel (pronounced ni-chaneru), recently experienced what is probably the biggest problem in its 14-year history when its promise to keep users' anonymity was severely broken by an information breach.
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Aug 20, 2013
Chain stores suffer part-timers' stupidity on the Web
Over the last month or so, the hottest topic on the Japanese Web scene has been inconsiderate and shocking behavior by convenience- and food chain-stores employees who messed about with appliances and food, and then boasted with photos on social media, mainly on Twitter. While the initial so-called enjō (to burn — as in it spreads like wildfire) criticism and severe bashing of the culprits was on the Web, it has now spilled over into mainstream media.
LIFE / Digital / JAPAN WEB WATCH
Jul 16, 2013
Japanese adults spend crazy money on cellphone games
Over the last decade, people's behavior during their daily train ride has completely changed. In the past, Japanese were known to be avid readers of paperbacks (bunko) and manga magazines, and would do so even on Tokyo's notoriously crowded trains. Now, however, it is rare to spot someone on the train who is not staring into their cellphone.

Longform

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