Yokohama Chinatown to offer Wi-Fi using global Wi-Fi service, FON


A joint project between the Yokohama Chinatown Development Association and FON, the world’s largest Wi-Fi service, is set to begin to bring Wi-Fi to the entirety of the Yokohama Chinatown.

Yokohama Chinatown, with its distinctly non-Japanese air, is one of the tourist destinations where more than 21 million people visit every year. Given both the spread of mobile devices including smartphones and the rapidly increasing trend for tourists visiting Japan, it was imperative to offer Wi-Fi within Chinatown. The decision was made to work with FON, which already has users in more than 200 countries and has built a network with more than 17 million hotspots, such that everyone coming to Yokohama Chinatown, both from Japan and abroad, will be able to use the Internet safely.

Free Wi-Fi service will be offered and easily available to all visitors of the principal areas of Yokohama Chinatown, including its main streets, at first, as well as within the shops of members of the Yokohama Chinatown Development Association. And because FON offers the option to log in using Facebook credentials, it will be simple and safe to get connected without all the hassle of a user registration process.

Yoichiro Ishikawa, director of the Yokohama Chinatown Development Association’s Education & Public Outreach Division, had the following to say. “We’d like to create an environment within Yokohama Chinatown that is friendly to tourists. In recent years the increase in tourist numbers to Japan has been remarkable. We have come to believe that free Wi-Fi facilities that guests from overseas can comfortably use while in Chinatown are indispensible. We have therefore partnered with FON, who already has many users both in foreign countries and in Japan to help us create an environment in Yokohama Chinatown that is ‘Wi-Fi friendly.’”

Support for the use of Facebook login credentials eliminates the need for other more annoying login steps. There is no need to hand out cards with the Wi-Fi passcode on it. Users can also easily auto-connect to FON Wi-Fi spots using the FON connection app, available worldwide.

The Wi-Fi system will connect with the Social Guidebook, which allows you to search for any and all locations associated with the Yokohama Chinatown Development Association. This will allow tourists to create and share their original guidebooks comprised of their favorite Chinatown locations.

Alex Puregger, CEO at FON Wireless, Ltd., noted the following. “We are working hard to support the growth of Wi-Fi to regional communities in every country across the globe. In addition to our work in Brooklyn, in New York City, we have made great strides as the local community Wi-Fi provider and partner for Olympic host cities such as London and Rio de Janeiro. Providing Wi-Fi to Yokohama Chinatown is part of those efforts. We are honored to be able to be involved in the effort to build on the Internet environment in Yokohama Chinatown, a tourist destination representative of the Japan experience. Moving forward, FON will continue to work to offer Wi-Fi to people through regional community involvement.”

© BusinessWire

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Thanks for letting us use it through FON and not Facebook. I refuse to do business with any online site that makes you sign in with FaceBook to access content, That is wrong and rude.

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Japan, just get your wi-fi environment sorted out, like yesterday. It's a disgrace that tourists are coming to what they imagine is some hi-tech disneyland and find that public access wi-fi is either thin on the ground or costs.

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Fully agree with Moonraker. I'm typing this from Taipei where I'm presently on vacation - every subway station here has a wifi point (or points) with no convoluted registration process, and power outlets to boot. EvRey cafe I've been into has had wifi, and the only one with a registration system was Starbucks (I couldn't register because my phone doesn't work here). This is how it should be in "hi-tech" Japan, and if it isn't sorted out before the Olympics then Japan's hi-tech reputation will take a battering.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan's wifi is pathetic compared to smaller nearby Asian countries like Taiwan and South Korea. This is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done.

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Japan, just get your wi-fi environment sorted out, like yesterday. It's a disgrace that tourists are coming to what they imagine is some hi-tech disneyland and find that public access wi-fi is either thin on the ground or costs.

I have always told people that Japan is "moving slow in the fast lane" when they think that by my living in Japan that I would have all of the latest gadgets and internet service. Things move pretty slow here. I am glad to see this movement going, now if they could just make it so that if one flies into Nariata with an unlocked phone, that if you buy a SIM for a few days, you can do just that, but it with a number and not have to "rent" it and turn in back in. Go to any other country, and you can buy a SIM with a number (local) and conduct your business with ease and leave and a few days later the number is gone. Not with Japan, you have to go through the cumbersome process of registering, renting, returning, etc.

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The more I compare Japan's outdated and outmoded bureaucratic procedures the more I become disheartened. I had a phone in my hands and was using it within 10 minutes of buying it last week in Hong Kong No registration,credit card disclosure or deposit needed. No wonder Japan is still mired in recession......

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Yeah, that's the other thing that drives me nuts - the nonsense with phones. Last time I went home (to the UK) I just walked into a phone shop and 5 minutes later walked out with a SIM card that went straight into my unlocked iPhone and worked. Same in Thailand, same in China, same in Korea (though I had to show ID and it took 15 minutes instead of 5, but still, we got there)... but in Japan? Computer says no. And then when my iPhone broke... forget it. Couldn't get another, unless I picked up a second-hand one from Book Off.. which would be locked to Softbank or whoever forever, so useless outside Japan. (I know this law has finally been changed, but only for phones purchased after the change, so it'll take a couple years before it makes a difference)

But, going back to wifi, I wanted to add to me earlier post... to be fair, on a recent trip around Japan I found that the new underground passage from Sapporo station to Odori has free, open public wifi, and Kyoto and Osaka have installed similar public wifi spots, so there are signs of improvement (though not yet in Tokyo)

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I would recommend that for all who will use the free public wifi, to make sure you have a VPN to protect yourself. I am sure that there will be plenty of hackers for those unsuspecting users out there.

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And I forgot to add that Hong Kong offers wifi just about everywhere for free......

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