Japan wants to censor the Apple iPhone

While  Steve Jobs has made sure that no naughty content gets onto the iPhone without his say so, that is not enough for the nation where you used to be able to buy girl’s knickers from vending machines.

According to a report in the Japanese Daily Mainichi, Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has slammed Jobs’ Mob and SoftBank Mobile, for offering “insufficient” content control for minors.

Apparently, the Land of the Rising Sun has strict legal rules for mobile Internet usage by minors and even Apple sails close to the wind over what a kiddie is allowed to see.

Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is writing a stiff letter to Apple to devise and install content filtering software on the iPhone as soon as possible.

Mainichi said that this content filtering software will restrict the minors from accessing any ‘harmful’ content on the mobile web, not even accidentally.

However, a  SoftBank Mobile spokesperson said that installing content filtering software on the iPhone was impractical since subscribers would have to provide financial and other personal information.

It does mean that Apple is going to have to make additional changes in Parental Control options on the iPhone as soon as possible.

Still it is ironic that Jobs’ Mob falls foul of censorship rules given that it is the most regulated of all the smartphones around. Goodness knows what the Japanese will make of the Android which has no content filtering at all.