Internet usage in Japan - statistics & facts

Online user data regarding the Asia Pacific show that East Asia had the highest number of internet users in the region. Japan was ranking fourth in the region, with close to 117 million internet users as of January 2020. The country reflected a very high internet penetration rate, although the degree of penetration differed with factors such as age, region, and income level. While the internet has been used by the majority of people in Japan since the mid-2000s, geographical differences remain, for example, between the more urban area of southern Kanto, which includes Tokyo, and more rural areas, such as Tohoku or Hokuriku.

Internet in Japan usually comes unbundled, meaning that customers in general have contracts both with a line provider and an internet service provider (ISP). The main line providers in Japan are NTT East, NTT West, au by KDDI and SoftBank. Leading ISPs include companies such as Asahi Net, Biglobe, Nifty Corporation, NTT Plala, or So-net. Commercial internet services have been available since the early 1990s, while mobile internet developed from the late 1990s onward. The main mobile carriers today are NTT Docomo, au by KDDI, and SoftBank. These three companies have recently been joined by Rakuten, which announced the launch of its own mobile carrier service in April 2020. When it comes to internet connection types, a majority of households were using optical fiber and mobile phone lines in 2019, while Apple iOS accounted for about two thirds of mobile web traffic.

According to a survey held in December 2019, the most common reasons to use the internet in Japan were to communicate with other people via email, looking up information, and using social networking services. A majority of people also accessed the web in order to use video sharing websites or to purchase goods and services online. Among social networks, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook enjoy high popularity, while LINE continues to be the dominating messenger app. A ranking of the most popular websites as of December 2019 was led by Google, followed by Yahoo, YouTube, and Twitter. Streaming services have become increasingly popular as well.

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Internet usage in Japan

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