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Cell phone numbers to change Jan. 1

Date Posted: 1998-12-25

All cellular phone numbers in Japan will change to 11-digit numbers on Jan. 1. The phenomenal popularity of cell phones has caused the number of users to soar to such an extent that it is necessary to change the numbers to 11 digits to ensure that there are enough for new users.

When the numbers change, the seven last digits of the current phone number stay the same. The current second digit will be added in front of these seven numbers and the first three digits will become 090. Thus, the current 030-xxx-yyyy will become 090-3xxx-yyyy and 010-xxx-yyyy will become 090-1xxx-yyyy. The first three digits for current PHS-type phones will be 070 and the second digit will be added to the rest of the number.

The users do not need to do anything except to memorize the new numbers in order to use their current cell phones. However, those with older type analog telephones will not be able to use the memory dialing function of their phones any more. Those in business will have to change the numbers in their business cards, envelopes, and letterheads, and there is also the extra trouble of programming the new numbers to any phones with an auto dialer function.

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