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The rationale behind the charge appears to be the Ministry's desire to control "illegal" "radio stations" and to promote "efficient" RF spectrum utilization. Japanese consumers already pay a yearly 420 Yen fee for each mobile phone.

The Ministry opened a public comment phase, which closes on next Thursday, July 19.

While the proposed fee is for Japan only, there is obvious industry concern about the establishment of a precedent that could be followed by other countries.

References to the proposal (in Japanese) and related documents can be found at the following links:

Proposal summary
http://www.soumu.go.jp/s-news/2007/070705_3.html

July 5 pre-meeting
http://www.soumu.go.jp/s-news/2007/pdf/070705_3_bs1.pdf

July 5 meeting report
http://www.soumu.go.jp/s-news/2007/pdf/070705_3_bs2.pdf

Background for the wave utilization charge system
http://www.tele.soumu.go.jp/j/fees/purpose/index.htm

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