Suga says Japan's mobile phone carriers aren't moving fast enough to lower rates

JIJI, Staff Report

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed dissatisfaction over what it sees as a slow pace in the reduction of mobile phone rates in the country.

“The government doesn’t think that this situation is acceptable at all,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga at a news conference Thursday.

Suga rattled the industry in August last year when he said there was room to lower mobile phone bills by around 40 percent.

The comment spurred discussions on how to promote competition, which led the government to introduce new rules for sales practices including separating handset and data fees and lowering the penalties for early termination of two-year contracts.

Major carriers have introduced new monthly data plans, but Suga’s remark on Thursday shows the government is not yet satisfied.

Further competition may be spurred next month when the new rules come into force.

“It’s one of the government’s roles to create a competitive environment,” he added.

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