Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communication Ministry is pissed off at the US because baby-monitor chatter from US military families is interfering with official business.
Japan houses some 47,000 US forces, many of who reside there with their family—children included. Popular among these soldiers are US-purchased baby monitors. The problem is that this sort of 900-megahertz device directly interferes with the radio frequency reserved in Japan for cellphone traffic and radio services.
Over the years Japan has been working with the US government to help curb this problem. For one, the Navy Exchange stopped selling 900-megahertz devices (including cell phones and walkie talkies) in Japan several years ago. And then in 2007, Japan provided the US with a list of frequencies to avoid, reports Stars and Stripes.
Unfortunately, baby-monitor chatter still remains a problem. New recruits are constantly arriving in Japan with their families. And more often than not, they bring a US-purchased baby monitor with them. It’s especially bad during the summer, during which 1/3 of military families are replaced with new recruits unfamiliar with Japanese ways and customs.
So in accordance, the U.S. government has added the issue to every base’s orientation brief. Hopefully it’ll help eliminate the issue, though there were 33 reported incidents just last year. The irony however is that a few cases involved Japanese parents who obtained US-based baby monitors from the Internet.
Regardless, it looks like the words ‘goo goo gah gah’ just don’t have a place in Japanese society—or at least not their cellular networks!