|The number of users has increased by about 80 percent since a similar survey conducted a
year ago. However, the growth rate since six months ago was only 13 percent (See
chart.). The explosive Web boom seems to have reached a ceiling in Japan. Six percent of the Japanese who
are Web users are 16 or older.
The dissemination rate of the number of Internet users, including users of
Internet mail, has slowed down at 9.2 percent, with the number of the users at 9.7 million. The ratio of
online services users was 11.5 percent, or 12.1 million.
The ratio of male users of Web increased sharply from 6 percent at the end of March 1997 to 9.3 percent at
the end of September 1997. However, it did not show a steep growth this time at 10.6 percent. Enthusiasm
toward the Web among male users is cooling down.
Women also are using the Web less. The ratio of female users at the end of September 1997 was twice as much
as six months earlier. However, it was only between 1-2 percent. There were far fewer women users than men.
The ratio of female users at the end of March 1998 increased only by 0.1 point since half a year ago.
Internet mail is spreading among men. The ratio of male Internet mail users has reached 10.7 percent. The
ratio has been steadily increasing by about 1 point every six months, and the growth rate does not seem to be
slowing down. Internet mail is spreading as a crucial means of communication in business, and such business
use is expected to spread the Internet further.
This survey was conducted by telephone among Japanese men and women aged 16 and older during the second half
of March 1998.
Japan was divided into 20 regions, and a certain number of samples was assigned to each region. Samples were
picked randomly from a telephone directory in each region.
Some 2,000 responses -- 1,000 from men and 1,000 from women -- were collected.
Internet user : The definition of an Internet user in this survey is a person
who uses either the Web or Internet mail, which are the major uses of the Internet, within a month. The
Internet could be used for file transfer protocol (FTP), however, there are very few people who use FTP
without using the Web or the Internet mail.
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Chart: The ratio of Web and Internet users
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(Nikkei Market Access)