51% of children in Japan get 1st smartphone at elementary school age: poll

Japan Today -- May 03
Children in Japan are receiving their first smartphones at an increasingly early age, with 51.6 percent of parents reporting giving them to their kids in elementary school, according to a recent survey.

The rate was up 11.5 percentage points from the previous poll in 2019, said Mobile Marketing Data Labo, an information technology market research firm in Tokyo.

The proportion of children receiving their first smartphones before elementary school, meanwhile, rose to 5.8 percent from 2.8 percent.

An official at MMD Labo attributed the changes to "more households using them as a means of contact when children go to cram school or elsewhere."

But the official also cited cases of children being exposed to danger or getting involved in trouble after using the internet or social media through smartphone use.