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Japan introduces anti-spam law

 12:08 am on Jul 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

This new law went into effect July 1 in Japan

The legislation requires senders of email ads to attach messages telling receivers the email is unsolicited advertising and how to reject any future ads. The legislation also prohibits the senders from mailing ads again once they have been rejected.
If the senders continue violations despite the orders, individuals may be given prison terms of up to two years or fined up to 3 million yen and companies may face a fine of up to 300 million yen.
article here [japantoday.com]

I'm not sure how they're actually going to enforce this law, but some companies like NTT DoCoMo have made announcements that they will be introducing programs that will help block spam in the near future. This will probably have more impact on corporate spam and may drive the smaller entities offshore.



 12:53 pm on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)


just out of interest,

we hear people complaining every now and then about Spam from the Asian region, mostly China.

The penalties outlined in your quote above seem to be none too petty so I am wondering how much of a problem Spam is in Japan and how much of it originates from within Japan itself compared to coming from more general domains.

Ie., as a Japanese resident, how much Japanese Spam do you get?



 3:55 pm on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have to say I've only gotten 1 or 2 japanese oriented spam e-mails within my whole internet lifestyle. The rules set in place are not hard to comprehend, infact they are not strict or unbealivable spam rules just basic needed stuff that should by default be included in junk email.



 1:56 am on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Japan is a very unique country due to its geographic isolation. This in turn influences the culture which is very insular. The majority of Japanese spam is produced by Japanese (it seems) and targeted toward Japan. Other than the occasional open relay in Japan, you really won't see much spam from Japan targeting the outside world.

From my experiences, spam in Japan is a bigger problem on mobile phones than it is for standard ISP accounts. I have several corporate e-mail accounts, active dial-up accounts and a home cable provider account and I must say that Japanese language spam is minimal. I am seeing more notices from my ISPs that they are implementing spam filters more aggressively now. One ISP I use has an option to automatically filter Korean and Chinese language mail...I saw that as an indication of the problem in Asia in general although I have never received a Korean language spam mail to my knowledge (I get the impression they're as insular as the Japanese in this area).

Spam on the mobile phones is another matter and really has people up in arms here. The mobile phone user here literally does pay a per packet data cost to receive mail, so if you receive a lot of spam you are paying out of your pocket for that. A vast majority of mobile phone spam is from the dating industry. If these guys get the e-mail address of your phone, forget it...you'll have to change your address or be buried in junk. The phone spammers are extremely persistent and this law is more targeted toward them than the traditional spam industry. It's really difficult to get header information on mail sent to a phone and these guys have been operating with impunity for some time now. With the phone spam it's not a freedom of speech issue, the lawmakers can easily see that when the user gets spam it costs money. Other nations where e-mail is more PC-centric and Internet connection rates are low the concept of spam isn't as cut and dry. I primarily see this law as a reaction to the phone spam.

I'm still surprised when I hear people at WebmasterWorld say that they filter out mail from Japan as spam automatically. China I could understand...I get tons of English and Chinese spam from there. Japanese language spam exists but it doesn't compare to the stuff I get from the US, Australia and China.


 2:08 am on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)


I've been tracking the country codes of incoming spam since May (and updating mailwasher). I was running a month or more before JP tripped the snare wire.

au, be, br, ca, ch, cl, cn, cz, de, dk, es, fi, fr, gr, hu, jp, is, it, lv, nl, pl, mx, no, pt, ro, ru, se, sk, su, ua, uk, yu, za


 3:29 pm on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have never received a Korean language spam mail to my knowledge (I get the impression they're as insular as the Japanese in this area).

I'm afraid I can't support this theory. I am operating from Germany, using a .com address hosted in the US, and the majority of the spam I receive is in korean language. Maybe I'm an exception, but I don't really have any idea how I could have become a preferred target for korean spammers.


 4:06 am on Jul 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

bird I don't doubt you. Is there any reason that Korean spammers would be going after a German market? Maybe it's industry specific?

As I mentioned above, one of my ISPs has filters specifically for Korean and Chinese e-mail. This would indicate that there is a spam problem from Korea...I just haven't seen it.

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