Flash your passport for free Wi-Fi in Japan

As any tourist who’s visited Japan will know, free Wi-Fi access is a lot less prevalent than in much of the Western world — a quirk of the country’s rapid adoption of mobile broadband. That’s changed a little in the past year or two, with Starbucks, convenience stores, and others rolling out various services, and according to a Nikkei report the government is planning to launch its own Wi-Fi system aimed at tourists.

Visitors to the country will reportedly be able to get an access ID by downloading a smartphone app or showing their passport at tourist spots or airports, which will let them use free Wi-Fi at train stations and other locations. A similar service is already in operation by telco NTT East, but the new initiative could unify…

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