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Flip-phone charging event in western Japan helps users retrieve treasured photos

A mother and her son look at photos during an event in which participants can charge and use their old phones again, at Edion Matsuyama Main Store in the Ehime Prefecture city of Matsuyama on Sept. 7, 2019. (Mainichi/Ryo Endo)

MATSUYAMA -- Families and couples brought their disused flip phones to a recent event at an electronics retail store in this western Japan city that allows participants to charge and use their old phones again.

Telecommunications giant KDDI Corp. has hosted such events in various places across the nation since 2017, attracting a total of about 4,600 people. Participants use chargers compatible with different devices. Photos in their old phones are printed out and given to them as gifts.

A 46-year-old woman from Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, turned on her phone to see a photo of her son when he was just two weeks old. "He was so small," she said with a smile. She looked at her now 10-year-old son and stated, "Mobile phones are a treasure trove."

(Japanese original by Ryo Endo, Matsuyama Bureau)

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