(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Number of Web Users in Japan Reaches 7.2 Million
October 26, 1998 (TOKYO) -- The number of users of the World Wide Web
in Japan was 7.2 million people nationwide, or 6.8 percent of all people
aged 16 or over, at the end of September 1998.
|These were the findings of a survey conducted by Nikkei Market Access,
a subscriber information service, about trends in information technology.
In the latest survey*1),
the number of Web users was 14 percent higher than in the previous survey
conducted at the end of March 1998 (see chart 1). However, in comparison
with the same period a year ago, the rate of growth has slowed. From
March to September 1997, the number of Web users increased by as much
as 59 percent.
The survey reveals that use of the Web in the home is expanding at a
slower pace. In addition to the need for richer content to attract more
users, the cost of telecommunication charges for residential users appears
to be a major deterrent to widespread use of the Web in Japan.
The number of Internet users*2),
including all those who are using either the Web or email services,
has reached 11.5 million, or 11.0 percent of the population. The number
of people using online services*2), including but not restricted
to Internet services, has reached 14 million, or 13.4 percent.
In regard to the access location, 25 percent of users access the Web
at home only, 37 percent access the Web outside the home only and 38
percent access the Web both at home and outside the home. That is, the
distribution is 63 percent for residential use and 75 percent for non-residential
use of the Web.
Compared with the survey six months ago, residential use is down by 3
percentage points, and non-residential use has increased by 12 percentage
points, indicating a shift toward use of the Web in workplaces and other
locations outside the home.
By age, male respondents were predominantly in their
thirties, and the age spread was from early twenties to late forties
(see chart 2). Females were mostly in their twenties, and most used
the Web at work. Other findings, such as the fact that over 10 percent
of previous users no longer use the Web, show that usage in Japan is
still a long way from forming a pattern of sustained growth.
The number of people using the Internet for email increased by 27 percent
since the March survey, outstripping the rate of growth in the number
of Web users. This indicates that email is becoming steadily more popular
as a means of communication that people can't do without once they start.
*1) Survey methodology
The survey targeted men and women aged 16 years or over throughout Japan.
It was conducted by telephone interview in late September 1998.
The survey covered the whole country, which was divided into 20 different
sampling zones. Respondents were selected by random sampling from a
telephone book database for each zone. A total of 1,000 men and 1,000
women were interviewed, for a total sample of 2,000.
Surveys are conducted half-yearly to assess the rate of Internet penetration
in Japan. The first was at the end of March 1997; the current survey
is the fourth.
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For the purposes of the survey, "Internet user" is defined as a person
who used the Internet for either of its two main uses, the World Wide
Web or email, at least once during the past month. "User of online services"
is defined as a person who used either the Internet or some other form
of online service at least once during the past month.
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Related story: Japan Has 6.3M Internet Users; Internet Boom Subsides
(Nikkei Market Access)