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The government is planning to let airlines decide whether to allow passengers to use cell phones in the cabin during boarding and disembarking starting April 1, officials said Tuesday.

All Nippon Airways said it plans to remove its ban on cell phones as soon as the rule change takes effect, while Japan Airlines said it will first take into account customers’ comfort and convenience.

The transport ministry’s current notice under the aviation law prohibits such electronic devices as cell phones and personal computers from being switched on aboard aircraft.

But it has found no safety problem with their operation during boarding and disembarking and plans to revise the notice to maintain the prohibition from the time the doors are closed for takeoff until they are opened after landing. This practice is similar to the European approach.

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