Shizuoka to give 10,000 free Wi-Fi access cards to tourists

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Starting next Tuesday, Shizuoka Prefecture and the city of Shizuoka plan to give out 10,000 cards that will grant free Wi-Fi access to foreign travelers.

The cards will allow foreign visitors get on the Internet at about 3,000 Wi-Fi spots in the prefecture and 61,000 around the country that are normally available only for paid users of NTT West Corp., part of the NTT Corp. group.

NTT West said the firm is providing the 10,000 free cards for foreign travelers to survey the need for Wi-Fi service.

The Shizuoka Municipal Government said about 4,000 cards will be given to foreign passengers sailing on the Celebrity Millennium, a large cruise ship scheduled to dock twice at Shimizu port, on Sept. 30 and Oct. 24, and the remaining 6,000 will be given to other inbound tourists.

The cards contain user IDs and passwords and will be handed out at the Shizuoka airport and seven other tourist information centers in the prefecture, the city said.

The prefectural government and the city each run their own versions of free Wi-Fi services for the public, but the number of access points is limited and people can only use them 15 minutes at a time and up to four times a day.

Those who have the free cards will be able to use the Internet all day long, but the cards will be invalid after two weeks.

Article by Kazuaki Nagata

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