East Japan Railway Co. this month began selling records of the use of Suica cards--without notifying the cardholders of the sale, it has been learned.
JR East issues the cards, which are pre-paid e-money cards that can double as commuter passes. The cards are used by about 43 million bus and train commuters primarily in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Although JR East says the records are being sold without revealing cardholders' names to a private company for market research purposes, it failed to provide prior notice of such sales to cardholders.
The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry has launched an investigation to see if the sales constitute a violation of the Personal Information Protection Law, while warning the railway operator that it should have notified cardholders of the sale of such information to a third party.
Hitachi, Ltd., which is buying the data from JR East, is selling analyzed data for market research purposes, such as each station's traffic level and the types of passengers using them. The analyzed data is estimated to bring in annual sales of at least 5 million yen, according to Hitachi.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday that up to 6 tons of water have leaked after being processed with water-cleaning equipment at the Fukushima No. 1 power station at the center of the 2011 nuclear disaster. (Jiji Press)
Sony Pictures has canceled the Dec. 25 release of "The Interview" after hackers threatened terrorists attacks and the largest multiplex chains in North America pulled the film from its screens. (Japan Times)
Heavy snow caused a power outage along parts of the Joetsu Shinkansen Line for about six hours on Sunday morning, leaving some 300 passengers trapped in a bullet train for 2½ hours near the mountainous southern border of Niigata Prefecture. (Japan Times)
When "Rachel Halle" traveled to Japan for an exchange year, she expected a lot of things from her visit; Japan is a culturally rich, diverse nation with a great deal to offer to exchange students seeking to learn about Japanese history and culture. (care2.com)
This village deep in the rugged mountains of southern Japan once was home to hundreds of families. Now, only 35 people remain, outnumbered three-to-one by scarecrows that Tsukimi Ayano crafted to help fill the days and replace neighbours who died or moved away. (leaderpost.com)