Welcome to the SoftBank website for US Military in Japan Arriving in Japan and need a Cell Phone? SoftBank, the Mobile Provider of Choice for US Military Community in Japan since 2004

FAQ for US Military Customer in Japan

1. New subscribers

1-1. I recently PCSed into Japan. Are there any special benefits for having SoftBank cell-phone service?

Yes. SoftBank has 12 on-base shops throughout Japan.
You can enjoy exclusive Military benefits for your cell-phone or mobile communication service needs, while staying in Japan. Please visit and ask our crew for details.

1-2. How much do I have to pay at the time of sign-up?

SoftBank offers a monthly installment plan. In most cases you are not required to pay anything upfront at the time of sign-up. You will be billed on your registered credit/debit card. Please visit and ask our crew for details.

1-3. What documentation should I bring at the time of sign-up?

Your ID: any one of the below.
Passport, US drivers license or Japanese drivers license, State ID.
A valid credit or debit card and your Military mailing address.

1-4. I don't have a State ID or driver's license. Can I sign up for SoftBank?

Yes. You can bring either your passport or a copy of your military orders and your military ID.

1-5. Are there any activation fees charged at the time of sign-up or upgrade?

A 3,000 yen activation fee is required for a new contract.
A 3,000 yen fee is required for upgrade from 3G to 4G.
A 2,000 yen fee is required for upgrade from 4G to 4G.
This fee will be charged on your monthly bill.

1-6. Can I use my unlocked device from other countries and just get a USIM from SoftBank for service?

All mobile communication devices used in Japan are required to have a Japanese Radio Technology Adaptability Certificate as per direction of the Japanese Radio Signal Law. We can provide USIM only if your device has the Japanese certificate mentioned above, and is compatible with SoftBank communication technology methods.
Your device IMEI: serial #, should be verified at the time of sign up request.
We cannot guarantee SoftBank service will work as designed on non SoftBank devices, and do not guarantee your device will perform within service specifications on our SoftBank network. It is your responsibility and liability to use SoftBank service on non SoftBank devices.

1-7. I have a SoftBank device given to me by a friend, can I get SoftBank service on this device?

Yes. If the device is sold by SoftBank, we can provide service.
Please come to our on base SoftBank shop with the device.

1-8. Does SoftBank have prepaid service?

Yes. We provide prepaid service for 3G feature phones, and also 3G smartphones.

1-9. Do you provide prepaid service for the iPhone?

No. There is no prepaid service for the iPhone in Japan.
Use of devices from foreign countries which do not have the Japanese Technology Adaptability Certificate is prohibited.

1-10. Does SoftBank have USIM only prepaid service?

Yes. If you have a device which has the Japanese Technology Adaptability Certificate we can provide a prepaid USIM.

1-11. I will be in Japan for 6 months or less, which service would SoftBank recommend, prepaid or postpaid?

It depends on how often you use the cell-phone, but we normally recommend our postpaid Smart All in One plan because with this plan the device is free, and you can enjoy free voice calls between SoftBank phones, even though you may have to pay an early termination fee when you leave.
Please ask our on base shop crew for details.

1-12. What is America Flat-rate Option?

America Flat-rate Option is a special global roaming service offered only by SoftBank.
If you have a SoftBank iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or iPad Air 2, when you are in CONUS or Hawaii under the network coverage of Sprint Corp., you can enjoy voice/data flat rate service under your SoftBank service plan.
For details http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/special/military/services/.

1-13. What are the available devices for America Flat-rate Option?

Applicable devices for America Flat-rate Option are,
iPhone 6
iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 6s
iPhone 6s Plus
iPad Pro
iPad Air 2
iPad Mini 3
iPad Mini 4
For details http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/special/military/services/

1-14. Am I required to do anything special for using America Flat-rate Option with my SoftBank device?

Yes. You are required to make some simple setting adjustments on your device.
Please see the setting guide on the page below.

http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/set/data/special/military/pdf/free-roaming-setting.pdf

1-15. Do you offer any type of flat-rate global roaming data communication service?

For some major countries, we offer a Global Roaming Packet Flat-rate.
If you are in applicable network coverage areas, a daily flat-rate charge is automatically applied.
For details, please see below.
http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/iphone/service/international/roaming/packet/

1-16. Is there a required setting for use of the Global Roaming Packet Flat-Rate?

Yes. To see the availability of the Global Roaming Packet Flat-Rate service when visiting a country outside Japan, please manually search your device for the applicable carrier.
For detailed settings, please see below.
http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/iphone/service/international/roaming/packet/

1-17. Does SoftBank provide public free Wi-Fi service for SoftBank iPhones, iPads or smartphones?

Yes. SoftBank has the highest number of free public Wi-Fi spots in Japan.
SoftBank smartphone users can enjoy connecting to our high speed Wi-Fi network when at restaurants, cafes, train stations, and at some hotels.

2. Current subscribers

2-1. Are there any activation fees charged at the time of sign-up or upgrade?

A 3,000 yen activation fee is required for a new contract.
A 3,000 yen fee is required for upgrade from 3G to 4G.
A 2,000 yen fee is required for upgrade from 4G to 4G.
This fee will be charged on your monthly bill.

2-2. Am I required to bring any specific documents or ID to upgrade a device?

Yes. Your ID: any one of below.
Passport, US drivers license or Japanese drivers license, State ID.
Your current device with the USIM.
If you wish to purchase the new device upfront when upgrading, please bring cash or a credit / debit card.

2-3. Can I upgrade my SoftBank service with a used SoftBank device which I received from a friend?

Yes, you can. However, depending on the type of device a USIM reissue may be required.
An upgrade fee for the service plan type may also be required.
Please come to our shop with the device and ask our crew for details.

2-4. On which day each month will my payment be pulled from my bank account?

SoftBank has 3 monthly billing cycles.
If you are billing cycle 10, your monthly usage up to the 10th of each month should be cleared by 6th of the following month.
If you are billing cycle 20, your monthly usage up to the 20th of each month should be cleared by 16th of the following month.
If you are billing cycle 30, your monthly usage up to the end of each month should be cleared by 26th of the following month.
If the due date is a Japanese holiday or weekend, it should be cleared by the next business day.
The exact date for debit is not determined by SoftBank but based on the agreement between you and your credit/debit company.

2-5. If I have an unpaid monthly bill, can I pay it using my credit card?

Yes, by loggng in to "My SoftBank" you can make payment by credit card.
Currently, the "My SoftBank" site is only in Japanese.
Please ask on-base shop crew for assistance with how to log-in.

2-6. If payment by my credt/debit card fails to process, how should I make payment and by which date?

If your credit/debit transaction fails, you will receive a paper bill in the mail.
Please bring that paper bill to any convenience store as soon as possible after receipt to make payment.
If you are billing cycle 10, payment should be cleared by the 11th of the following month.
If you are billing cycle 20, payment should be cleared by the 21st of the following month.
If you are billing cycle 30, payment should be cleared by the 1st of the second month after the billing cycle.
If you do not have a paper bill, please visit a SoftBank shop for assistance.

2-7. Can I ask someone else to make my monthly payment at the SoftBank Shop for me?

Our SoftBank shops accept taking payment by third parties in either of the following conditions.

  1. They have the paper bill.
  2. They are able to provide the shop crew with the below information.
    Contract owner's name, date of birth, address as registered on the SoftBank account, phone number, amount of the bill, payees name, phone number, and date of birth.
  3. They posess a power of attorney with defined conditions, and show the shop crew his/her ID.
  4. Have shop crew call contract owner's phone number to verify the contract owner's intention to pay, and show his/her ID.

Payment at shop counter must be made only by Yen cash.

2-8. The data connection speed of my smartphone has really slowed down. What's the problem?

There is a possibility you have reached your data usage cap for the month which results in a reduction of connectivity speed. Please check your data usage amount by accessing "My SoftBank", or calling our Customer Support Center: by dialing 157.

2-9. I have a 7GB monthly data plan. In general terms what can I do with a 7GB plan on my smartphone?

As an example, a 7GB data plan would allow the following.
Sending 18.7million emails
Browsing 50,600 web pages
Watching 33 hours streaming video
Downloading 1,790 songs

2-10. What situations would cause my data communication speed to slow down?

There are two different speed limitation criteria.

  1. Monthly data amount limitation based on your service plan.
    In this case, if you have a speed limitation, you can purchase extra data amount to maintain your communication speed.
  2. Your data usage amount has exceeded 1GB.
    If your total data usage amount exceeds 1GB in any three day period, your data speed will be limited for 24 hours.
    This is to prevent data network congestion.

2-11. If my monthly data usage amount exceeds the monthly plan and my device speed slows down, is there any way to return to the original data speed?

You can return to the original data communication speed by purchasing additional data amount by calling our call center and requesting an additional data amount: 0800-111-5590 Toll Free or by waiting until the next billing month at which time your original speed will be recovered.

2-12. What type of SoftBank contract procedures can I authorize my family member to conduct on my behalf?

As for authorized procedures, the below list is acceptable.

  1. Upgrading
  2. Service plan change
  3. Repair
  4. Service termination

The family member is required to show a power of attorney, and his/her ID.
Showing evidence for proving family connection is also required.

We don't accept registration for new contract, changing passwords, or requesting any type of communication detail statements.

2-13. I will be deploying for 6-months from next month. Is there any service which will allow me to save SoftBank monthly costs?

SoftBank offers a type of suspension service.
However, this service may not always reduce your overall payments, because we offer discounts with our installment plans.
Please ask our shop crew for more details.

2-14. What is America Flat-rate Option?

America Flat-rate Option is a special global roaming service offered only by SoftBank.
If you have a SoftBank iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or iPad Air 2, when you are in CONUS or Hawaii under the network coverage of Sprint Corp., you can enjoy voice/data flat rate service under your SoftBank service plan.
For details http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/special/military/services/.

2-15. What are the available devices for America Flat-rate Option?

Applicable devices for America Flat-rate Option are,
iPhone 6
iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 6s
iPhone 6s Plus
iPad Pro
iPad Air 2
iPad Mini 3
iPad Mini 4
For details http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/special/military/services/

2-16. Do you offer any type of flat-rate global roaming data communication service?

For some major countries, we offer a Global Roaming Packet Flat-rate.
If you are in applicable network coverage areas, a daily flat-rate charge is automatically applied.
For details, please see below.
http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/iphone/service/international/roaming/packet/

2-17. Is there a required setting for use of the Global Roaming Packet Flat-Rate?

Yes. To see the availability of the Global Roaming Packet Flat-Rate service when visiting a country outside Japan, please manually search your device for the applicable carrier.
For detailed settings, please see below.
http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/iphone/service/international/roaming/packet/

2-18. Does SoftBank provide public free Wi-Fi service for SoftBank iPhones, iPads or smartphones?

Yes. SoftBank has the highest number of free public Wi-Fi spots in Japan.
SoftBank smartphone users can enjoy connecting to our high speed Wi-Fi network when at restaurants, cafes, train stations, and at some hotels.

3. PCS from Japan

3-1. When I PCS from Japan, are there any special benefits if I choose Sprint after returning to the US?

Yes. We have our SoftBank to Sprint program (S to S) . This provides you with special exclusive benefits.
For details, please see below.
http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/special/military/

3-2. Do on base SoftBank shops have any type special programs for PCS out US-Miltary users?

Based on the conditions, we do offer some military exclusive benefits for users when you PCS out.
Please visit our on base SoftBank shop to ask for details.

3-3. What should I bring at the time of my service termination?

At the time of service termination, please visit our SoftBank shop with your ID, current SoftBank device & USIM.
If you are PCSing and fullfilled the terms and conditions of your contract, you may qualify for some Military exclusive benefits.
For details, please visit on base shop prior to the time of actuall service termination.

3-4. Is it possible to pre-schedule service termination at the SoftBank shop?

No. At service termination, your signature is required, therefore termination pre-registration is not possible.

3-5. When I PCS out, will SoftBank unlock my iPhone so that I can use it in the US?

Currently, mobile providers in Japan do not accept unlocking the iPhone.
However if you bring your SoftBank iPhone back to the US, Sprint will buy it back based on our SoftBank to Sprint Buy Back Program.
For details, please see below.
http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/special/military/

3-6. I have a SoftBank iPad Cellular model and am scheduled to PCS out. Will SoftBank unlock my iPad so that I can use it in the US?

No unlock is required.
iPads sold by SoftBank are only locked while in Japan.
You can use your SoftBank iPad with US providers' USIMs as long as the communication methodology is adaptable.

On-base 12 shops

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