How to Find Your Lost Phone


If you lose your mobile phone in Japan, it is quite possible that someone will find it and turn it in to the police who run a very friendly lost and found system.

But what if you've lost your phone while commuting 30km on a bicycle? This happened to one of Tod's coworkers last week. First he called the police box nearest his home. They didn't have it but they helped him compile a list of all the koban along his route so he could call each one. But after a few fruitless inquiries, he discovered that the police take the SIM card out of the phone, get its number, and report the lost phone to the mobile phone carrier.

So when you lose your phone, call your carrier. If the phone was turned in, they can tell you which police box you need to contact to get it back. What a handy thing to know.

Tod's colleague's phone had been found near the office in Marunouchi but was turned in at a police box in Kiba, a suburb nowhere near the office or his home. He never would have been reunited with it just by calling around to the koban on his route.


Huh? SIM card? I didnt realise phones in Japan worked on the SIM card system! Is that just for 3G phones?

@ J-ster

Sim cards have been in use in Japan for about 6 years or so. They were introduced when 3G started to come in. Now all phones have sim cards but they are sim locked so you can't just swap them in and out like in some other countries.

You will be hard pressed to find non-3G phones in Japan these days.. well no new ones anyway.

You are correct though that they didn't have them when you were here as all of the network stuff was hardcoded into the phones.

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