Tue, 13 Jun 2000

One of six use Internet

TOKYO (AP): About one of six Japanese use the Internet, and more than 14 percent of the nation's mobile phone owners use them to access the global computer network, a media research company said on Monday.

Approximately 19.4 million Japanese, or one-sixth of the population, had come online by the end of February, Access Media International Inc. estimated on the basis of a nationwide survey.

That's up 128.8 percent from the same month a year ago, and the Tokyo-based research company is forecasting that the number of users will reach 20.9 million by the end of this month and 22.6 million by December.

Internet use in the world's second-richest economy is taking off as once-prohibitive access charges have started to fall and online companies have begun advertising their services using television and other traditional media.

Access Media has been conducting nationwide surveys of Internet usage since 1996.