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Apple's iPhone now accounts for one in three Japanese mobile phone shipments

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
After striking a deal to sell the iPhone through Japan's largest wireless telecom NTT DoCoMo, Apple now owns more than 36 percent of the country's entire cellular market, far outpacing worldwide rival Samsung.



According to the latest statistics from Tokyo-based market research firm MM Research Institute Ltd., Apple's iPhone accounted for 36.6 percent of all Japanese mobile phone shipments for the year ended in March, reports Bloomberg.

Apple's iPhone business boomed from a 25.5 percent marketshare for the year ago period, representing an 11.1 percent boost in shipments year-to-year. For the 2013 fiscal year, Apple shipped a total of 14.43 million iPhones in Japan. The huge jump is thanks to a new deal with longtime holdout NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest carrier by subscribership, the firm said.

Trailing Apple was Sharp, which shipped 5.14 million phones to take 13 percent of the market, while Sony managed to ship 4.8 million units for a 12.3 percent share.

As for Samsung, the Korean company's various handsets took a 5.7 percent share of the market, putting it in sixth place.

The news comes as no surprise given Apple's continued dominance of the smartphone side of Japan's mobile phone market. In the fourth quarter of 2013, the iPhone took a massive 68.7 percent share of smartphone sales and was the top-selling handset on all three major wireless providers.

Vital to 2013's boost in sales was DoCoMo, which only started selling Apple's smartphone last fall. In its first full month of availability through the carrier in October, the iPhone accounted for 61 percent of DoCoMo's smartphone market.

Since the iPhone launched on Japan's SoftBank in 2008, DoCoMo was reluctant to agree to Apple's partner carrier policies and instead conducted business as usual, pushing domestic brands on its post-paid customers. In 2012, the firm finally admitted rival telecoms SoftBank and KDDI were sapping subscribers away with Apple's handset and wanted in on the deal.

Apple first reached the top of Japan's sales charts in 2012 when the iPhone captured 26.6 percent of the smartphone market, squeezing out competition from domestic smartphone makers like Sharp and Toshiba. At the time, Apple marketed only one model -- the iPhone 4S -- through SoftBank, the county's first exclusive provider to offer the handset.
post #2 of 43
oops i did it again
post #3 of 43
This is for all cellphones, not just smartphones.
post #4 of 43
Going to Japan in three weeks. Reading a book on modern Japanese culture and customs. Says they rate foreigners in order of popularity. English speakers get the most respect, Koreans the least. No surprise this extends to buying preferences.
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post #5 of 43

But... but... but the Japanese were supposed to hate the iPhone because their feature-phones were so much more functional (well that's what the analysts had always said).  There's still no place to attach a Hello Kitty strap to the iPhone which is a must-have feature.  Apple is very fortunate that the Japanese don't have a whole lot of love for South Korea and S. K. companies.  Apple practically wins Japanese smartphone market share by default.  The iPhone causing both smartphone and camera companies to suffer in Japan.  It's rather amazing.  They say the teens in Japan are heavily addicted to smartphone usage and spend almost all day browsing.  The iPhone is definitely the go-to smartphone for browsing the internet.  Anyway, it's good to hear iPhone sales are still rising in Japan and may only get better when larger display iPhones are available.

post #6 of 43

Yep, and every one of those three carriers LOCKS the iPhone and keeps it locked even after it goes off-contract.

It's a disgraceful ignoring of Japanese consumer rights and I think it continues like this because Japanese pols are in the pockets of Japanese mobile carriers—but what do I know after having lived here for just 30 years!

Apple—you need to stick up for consumer rights in one of your key mobile markets.

post #7 of 43
This is for ALL mobile phones in japan? Insane. The Japanese have good taste.
post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

This is for all cellphones, not just smartphones.

 

Remember, Mel, when people said Apple could never crack Japan?

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post #9 of 43

I clearly remembered the vitriol the iHating lapdogs were spewing when the iPhone was going to be sold in Japan.  "No one will buy the iPhone", "iPhone will be a disaster".  "Japanese expect more from their phones", "iPhone is 'too simple' for advanced users like Japan".

These basement-dwellers were all high-and-mighty in their predictions and beliefs that they knew what everyone else wanted.


Where are those sh!theads now?  They are just nowhere to be seen.  I guess their mommies locked them back in the basements?

post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post
 

I clearly remembered the vitriol the iHating lapdogs were spewing when the iPhone was going to be sold in Japan.  "No one will buy the iPhone", "iPhone will be a disaster".  "Japanese expect more from their phones", "iPhone is 'too simple' for advanced users like Japan".

These basement-dwellers were all high-and-mighty in their predictions and beliefs that they knew what everyone else wanted.


Where are those sh!theads now?  They are just nowhere to be seen.  I guess their mommies locked them back in the basements?

 

nah they just pretend that never happened.

post #11 of 43

The Japanese have good taste, and money.  :)

post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Going to Japan in three weeks. Reading a book on modern Japanese culture and customs. Says they rate foreigners in order of popularity. English speakers get the most respect, Koreans the least. No surprise this extends to buying preferences.

That was my thought. It's nice for Apple but not shocking that Samsung isn't popular there. Now if Sony could produce a better device I think the Japanese would eat it up.

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post #13 of 43

I would just like to point out iPhone lowest market shares happens to be ......... South Korea.

There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

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There are only two kind of people in this world.

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post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

I would just like to point out iPhone lowest market shares happens to be ......... South Korea.

They seem to be killing it well with customer satisfaction.

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post #15 of 43

Yes, because I think Apple customers happens to understand Apple to a varying different level. Then there is the Anti Samsung which helps a bit.

 

But honestly Apple market share is reaching to Single Digit in South Korea. There is going to be lots of work for Apple to do.

There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

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There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

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post #16 of 43
Good taste, I thought Japan liked their iPhones due to the amount you see in photos when Hollywood stars visit japan at Movie premiers etc. never underestimate the Japanese population's begrudging of all things Korean! Samsung have slaughtered Sony in the past decade, not to mention LG. I would have thought Sony would have been stronger in the mobile market. I think within the next 5 years, Sony will make huge gains, they are innovative, let's face it, they have the camera lens and technology side pretty much sewn up!
post #17 of 43
@constable odo

You've obviously never been to Japan (or if you have, have not noticed how they use the iPhone nor been in any store selling iPhone accessories and paraphernalia). They have the Hello Kitty hanger thing problem cracked already -- they have headphone jack inserts that they use for their "hanging" thingy that they all seem to have on their phones. It has a plastic headphone plug that plugs snugly in the headphone jack and then they hang Hello Kitty or whatever off it. Go to Yodobashi Camera or other big electronics retailer and see how many ROWS, whole rows of Apple iPhone related stuff they have for sale -- hangers, cases, styli, chargers, cables, etc.

My wife is from Japan and we try and go every other year to visit her family and let the kids get to know grandma and the aunts and grand aunts. Both my SIL have iPhones though one has both a DOCOMO non-iPhone [she had been with DOCOMO forever and did not want to lose the email address and phone number] as well as a KDDI/AU iPhone, which she got a year before DOCOMO got the iPhone. I think she said she was going to replace her DOCOMO phone with an iPhone sometime soon. My other SIL has had a 4S on SoftBank for several years. In terms of smart phones, almost everyone you see on the subway etc seems to have an iPhone. You occasionally see an Android phone of some sort and you see the non smart phones as well.

We've been to Korea once for a couple days on the way to Japan to visit. Koreans seem to buy local in everything. When I was there, it seemed that almost every car you saw was a Korean model. You hardly saw anything else. I saw maybe two Japanese brand cars, a handful of American cars, and of course some high end European models, but almost every car was a Korean make. Everything else seemed that way as well (though they did have KFC, Baskin Robbins, and The Outback all visible from our hotel room, so maybe food establishments are more welcome). I would not be surprised if that buy-local feeling extended to their phones as well.
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post
 

I would just like to point out iPhone lowest market shares happens to be ......... South Korea.

that must be changing, I teach at a university in Seoul, over half of my students have iPhone 4s-5s. most of them tell me they want the 6.

post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadbag View Post

Both my SIL have iPhones though one has both a DOCOMO non-iPhone [she had been with DOCOMO forever and did not want to lose the email address and phone number] 

 

I thought that Japan had number portability now? I know it came it later than most countries (it didn't exist when I lived in Japan six years ago) and was touted as the reason that NTT DoCoMo's marketshare collapsed. 

 

I'm guessing that e-mail portability doesn't exist though. :)

post #20 of 43

Countries that have a high iOS adoption and usage rate are generally better countries to live in, richer and more successful than those countries that have high adoption rates of Android and very low iOS adoption rates.

 

I'm not at all surprised that Japan is one of those countries where the iPhone is extremely popular. 

 

I came across this interesting chart on another site, and it's pretty obvious to see that as you move down towards the bottom of the list, the countries become progressively worse and towards the bottom of the list you find more dictatorships and poorer countries than those at the top of the list. That is no coincidence. Basically, the point is that much of Android's success (if one can call it a success) can be attributed to poverty.

 

The more iPhones in use, the happier the society and population are. The more Android devices that are in use, the more miserable and poor the population is, and the greater chance of living under a totalitarian rule. Those are my conclusions.

 

post #21 of 43

Japan has MNP and the iPhone is very popular here.  At the same time, there is real lack of price competition between the three carriers au, Softbank and DoCoMo even now after DoCoMo has joined the iPhone club.  This lack of price competition and flexibility is due to the LOCK that all carriers implement on their hardware even after the phone comes off contract after 26 months.  A few Android phones are "SIM-free" but most phones are not and all iPhones from carriers are locked.

In addition, there are absolutely no Payn'Go SIMs to be bought here.  There are a few MVNP operators like BIC SIM offering a reasonable deal on voice and data SIMs using the DoCoMo network but they still require a 2-year contract and proof of residence.  Apple Japan has just recently begun selling unlocked iPhones online from the Apple Store but at $730 for the base model of the 5S, not many people want to pay that upfront and even fewer Japanese know that unlocked iPhones can be bought from Apple Japan!

Maybe this market needs a bit of disruption other than Apple taking a 36% share of the Japanese cell phone market!  I only hope that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics results in Payn'Go SIMs for overseas visitors carrying unlocked phones, otherwise there will be a lot of frustrated tourists.

post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to the latest statistics from Tokyo-based market research firm MM Research Institute Ltd., Apple's iPhone accounted for 36.6 percent of all Japanese mobile phone shipments for the year ended in March, reports Bloomberg.


Just One Correction.

This " i-Phone Account for
36.6 % of Whole Mobile Phone Sales in JAPAN from 2014 Jan. - Mar. " that MM Research & Bloomberg Reported is WRONG !

HOW COME Did They Calculate Such Wrong Number ?

I'll Show You TRUE NUMBER.


i-Phone's Market Share in Whole Mobile Phone Market & in Smart Phone Market

Mar. 2014
55%(49.6%[5S] + 5.4%[5C]) & 65.1%
Xperia Z1(DoCoMo) 2.3% Xperia Z1( au ) 2.1% LG isai LGL 2.0% Sharp Aquos 2.2%


Feb. 2014
50.4%(44.5% + 5.9%) & 59.65%
Xperia Z1(DoCoMo) 2.3% Xperia Z1( au ) 2.0%


Jan. 2014
43.2%(28.9% + 14.3%) & 51.1%
Xperia Z1-02F + 01F(DoCoMo) 6.1% Xperia Z1( au ) 2.5% Kyocera Urbano( au ) 2.3%


As You See, i-Phone's Market Share Acconts For 50% in Entire Mobile Phone Market in JAPAN NOW. If You Look at Market Share in Smart Phone Market Exclusively, As The Article Indicates, i-Phone Accounts For More Than 60% !











post #23 of 43

So how did DoCoMo's plan to put their crapware and other branding onto the iPhone work out?

post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post
 

 

Remember, Mel, when people said Apple could never crack Japan?

 

Why the Japanese Hate the iPhone

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post #25 of 43
Mikey, technically given your numbers there was not an 11.1 percent boost in iPhone shipments. There was an 11.1 percentage point increase in shipments. The percent increase is (36.6 - 25.5)/25.5 = 43.5% increase in iPhone shipments.
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post

So how did DoCoMo's plan to put their crapware and other branding onto the iPhone work out?

Since Their( NTT DoCoMo ) " 2-TOPS( Shamesung + Sony ) Strategy " Completely Flopped in The Middle Term in Last Year, They FINALLY Realized that " ONLY i-Phone CAN BE i-Phone Killer ! ".


Since They Joined i-Phone Sales Race, I Think They're Doing Fairly GOOD.





I'm not Sure If You Can Download It Outside JAPAN, But Their App for i-OS " しゃべってコンシェル( Siri-like Concierge or Butler App )" is Quite NICE.

To Be Honest, I Much Prefer This to Siri or Others, 'cause It's More INTIMATE & HUMBLE, SINCERE than Siri that Sometimes Sounds Very Unfriendly and Even Arrogant.





post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post
 

So how did DoCoMo's plan to put their crapware and other branding onto the iPhone work out?

 

Don't confuse NTT DoCoMo with Western carriers. Some of NTT DoCoMo's software was actually useful and popular. i-mode was wildly successfully.

post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post
 

The Japanese have good taste, and money.  :)

 

This and the fact that the Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans have a long history of animosity between their cultures. The Japanese particularly don’t like Koreans I’ve been told.

post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by HAMETA View Post

Just One Correction.

This " i-Phone Account for
36.6 % of Whole Mobile Phone Sales in JAPAN from 2014 Jan. - Mar. " that MM Research & Bloomberg Reported is WRONG !

HOW COME Did They Calculate Such Wrong Number ?

I'll Show You TRUE NUMBER.


i-Phone's Market Share in Whole Mobile Phone Market & in Smart Phone Market

Mar. 2014
55%(49.6%[5S] + 5.4%[5C]) & 65.1%
Xperia Z1(DoCoMo) 2.3% Xperia Z1( au ) 2.1% LG isai LGL 2.0% Sharp Aquos 2.2%


Feb. 2014
50.4%(44.5% + 5.9%) & 59.65%
Xperia Z1(DoCoMo) 2.3% Xperia Z1( au ) 2.0%


Jan. 2014
43.2%(28.9% + 14.3%) & 51.1%
Xperia Z1-02F + 01F(DoCoMo) 6.1% Xperia Z1( au ) 2.5% Kyocera Urbano( au ) 2.3%


As You See, i-Phone's Market Share Acconts For 50% in Entire Mobile Phone Market in JAPAN NOW. If You Look at Market Share in Smart Phone Market Exclusively, As The Article Indicates, i-Phone Accounts For More Than 60% !












Yet you listed only smartphones. What part of ALL mobile phones can't you understand?
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post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
 

 

I thought that Japan had number portability now? I know it came it later than most countries (it didn't exist when I lived in Japan six years ago) and was touted as the reason that NTT DoCoMo's marketshare collapsed. 

 

I'm guessing that e-mail portability doesn't exist though. :)

 

They probably do have number portability.  I am going off what I remember my SIL saying.  The most important to her was preserving the email, and it is possible I either misunderstood what she said about the number, or maybe she did not know about number portability (this was almost two years ago).

post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by plankton View Post
 

Japan has MNP and the iPhone is very popular here.  At the same time, there is real lack of price competition between the three carriers au, Softbank and DoCoMo even now after DoCoMo has joined the iPhone club.  This lack of price competition and flexibility is due to the LOCK that all carriers implement on their hardware even after the phone comes off contract after 26 months.  A few Android phones are "SIM-free" but most phones are not and all iPhones from carriers are locked.

In addition, there are absolutely no Payn'Go SIMs to be bought here.  There are a few MVNP operators like BIC SIM offering a reasonable deal on voice and data SIMs using the DoCoMo network but they still require a 2-year contract and proof of residence.  Apple Japan has just recently begun selling unlocked iPhones online from the Apple Store but at $730 for the base model of the 5S, not many people want to pay that upfront and even fewer Japanese know that unlocked iPhones can be bought from Apple Japan!

Maybe this market needs a bit of disruption other than Apple taking a 36% share of the Japanese cell phone market!  I only hope that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics results in Payn'Go SIMs for overseas visitors carrying unlocked phones, otherwise there will be a lot of frustrated tourists.

 

You don't need 2 year contracts for all the MVNP operators.   I researched them extensively before our last trip (arrived day after Christmas this past Christmas).   A voice SIM is harder to get due to the requirements of having a local credit card and computer account to register it with, but does not require any 2 year contract.  Data only SIMs are easy to get, even for visitors (but more expensive for visitors).  I let me SIL register the data SIMs I got, which I paid for and used for one month.  We just used LINE to voice call and for texting each other, which worked well, and I had my AT&T iPhone on me in case I needed to make an emergency (not 911 type) real call to someone at the exorbitant roaming rates.  We had a total of 3 data SIMs, one in each of our iPhones, and one in a MiFi type device that we could attach to with the iPads, Macbook, etc.

post #32 of 43
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post
This is for ALL mobile phones in japan? Insane. The Japanese have good taste.
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

Pipped me, hill60.

post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Yet you listed only smartphones. What part of ALL mobile phones can't you understand?


In JAPAN Already More than 80% of Shipped Sales of Whole Quantity of Mobile Phones Are Smart Phones Since Last Year's May Shown in My 4th Chart.

And Out Of Such Almost Annihilating Feature Phones, Only A Couple of Devices Ranked in TOP 10 in February As My 2nd Spread Sheet Shows.

But in Other Months NONE ! Not Because My First 3 Spread Sheets Include ONLY Smart Phones, But Because Feature Phones Themselves in JAPAN Are " ENDANGERED SPECIES " !!!

THIS !





Only 6th Soft Bank ZTE, 9th Kyocera Gratina & 10th Panasonic P-01F Are Feature Phones, Not Smart Phones.
post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by HAMETA View Post





Only 6th Soft Bank ZTE, 9th Kyocera Gratina & 10th Panasonic P-01F Are Feature Phones, Not Smart Phones.[/SIZE][/I][/B]

I'm convinced. Your used of capitals and insults show such a good grasp of how to debate and put across your point. :what:
post #35 of 43
My mind also flashed back to AI at the iPhone start and all the posts stating categorically that the iPhone could not succeed in Japan and the litany of reasons why they 'knew' this to be the case.
Edited by digitalclips - 5/14/14 at 10:18am
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post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by singularity View Post

I'm convinced. Your used of capitals and insults show such a good grasp of how to debate and put across your point. :what:

Pretty bizarre post wasn't it?
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post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/179532/apples-iphone-now-accounts-for-one-in-three-japanese-mobile-phone-shipments#post_2533559"]Countries that have a high iOS adoption and usage rate are generally better countries to live in, richer and more successful than those countries that have high adoption rates of Android and very low iOS adoption rates.

I'm not at all surprised that Japan is one of those countries where the iPhone is extremely popular. 

I came across this interesting chart on another site, and it's pretty obvious to see that as you move down towards the bottom of the list, the countries become progressively worse and towards the bottom of the list you find more dictatorships and poorer countries than those at the top of the list. That is no coincidence. Basically, the point is that much of Android's success (if one can call it a success) can be attributed to poverty.

The more iPhones in use, the happier the society and population are. The more Android devices that are in use, the more miserable and poor the population is, and the greater chance of living under a totalitarian rule. Those are my conclusions.


Thank you for the post. I definitely agree with the relationship (though causality maybe difficult to prove). I wanted to add another anecdote about the evil of Samsung. Samsung has been one of the few multinational corporations to support the military dictatorship of Myanmar (Burma). My wife and I just got back from there two months ago. The sign welcoming travellers to the country prominently displays the Samsung logo as do the custom stations (on par or bigger than the country's insignia...no doubt product placement that occurred through bribery...a truly disgusting company).

I encourage everyone to read the expose in this month's Vanity Fair about the Apple Samsung "World War." It is very eye opening.
post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post
 

But... but... but the Japanese were supposed to hate the iPhone because their feature-phones were so much more functional (well that's what the analysts had always said).  There's still no place to attach a Hello Kitty strap to the iPhone which is a must-have feature.  Apple is very fortunate that the Japanese don't have a whole lot of love for South Korea and S. K. companies.  Apple practically wins Japanese smartphone market share by default.  The iPhone causing both smartphone and camera companies to suffer in Japan.  It's rather amazing.  They say the teens in Japan are heavily addicted to smartphone usage and spend almost all day browsing.  The iPhone is definitely the go-to smartphone for browsing the internet.  Anyway, it's good to hear iPhone sales are still rising in Japan and may only get better when larger display iPhones are available.

So true...but do realize that the straps and emoticons are important but were easily resolved.

More importantly, the Japanese tend to value EFFICIENT use of size/functions not to mention quality hence they don't just get suckered into cheap and big.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post
 

The Japanese have good taste, and money.  :)

A slight correction...Japanese people have money issues (as much as Americans do, anyway), but they value quality and are willing to spend more of their disposable income on high quality phones and cars instead of throwing good money at crappy stuff.

post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

This is for ALL mobile phones in japan? Insane. The Japanese have good taste.

They do. They like Bach, too.

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post #40 of 43

Doesn't the fact that you had to research extensively before coming here to be able to get an MVNP SIM for data prove the point at how backwards Japan is in regards to Payn'Go?

 

I'd like to know which MVNPs in Japan are offering both voice and data without a contract—I only know of the BIC SIM and perhaps a B-mobile SIM and both require proof of residence, but I could be wrong as things are changing here. Yes, I stand corrected, there are now some MVNP data-only providers who don't need a contract, but messing with SIL and SIP phone settings is beyond what most people want to do, although LINE makes it much easier. Japan is a sophisticated mobile market in many ways but the inability to buy a Payn'Go SIM from a corner shop, put it in an unlocked phone, and start making phone calls and using data instantly puts Japan behind many developing countries where full voice and data SIMs can be bought almost anywhere. I have a suspicion that it is due to Japan's National Police Agency wanting to keep a tight lid on knowing who has what phone number but have never heard that said in public.

 

For those visiting Japan and needing a data SIM, here is an extensive list of who offers what, but you need to read Japanese! 

 

http://ma-bank.net/word/92/

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