Google offers free internet at cafes in Japan

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    Google announced free wireless internet access at select restaurants and cafes in Japan as part of thier “Sagasou” Campaign until February 28, 2010.  At participating Tully’s Coffee, Pronto, and Lotteria shops in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Aichi, and Osaka Prefectures, users can access NTT Broadband Platform’s WiFine wireless service for unrestricted internet access once a day for 30 minutes.  Here is a list of shops where the service is available.

    Users will be required to create an account and register their device (iPhone, DS, PSP, notebook, etc.) to access this service.  There is a registration link here, but at this time it is 404.  To register on site, connect to the WiFine network, open a browser window, and click the google banner.  WiFine is available in many stations in larger cities, but these access points are not included in this service and will continue to provide only local information, with no internet access to non-subscribers.

    I just saw the commercial below on TV this morning, so it seems Google is getting serious about the Japanese market.  Their Android mobile operating is currently available on a phone from Docomo, coming soon to Softbank, and powering the upcoming Hikari iFrame.  So, hopefully we will see better support for the Japanese language from Google soon.

    Contributor Bio: Steve has been splitting time between the US
    and Japan for the past 10 years or so and is now a post doctorate
    fellow at a large, lumbering University in Tokyo, where he gets paid
    to play with dirt.

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