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KDDI mobile network glitch causes chaos in Japan, some users can't dial emergency numbers

The logo of KDDI Corp. is seen in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on July 3, 2022. (Mainichi/Yoshiya Goto)

Some people in Japan had to call emergency numbers on passersby's cellphones or search for public phones due to network trouble with the country's major mobile carrier KDDI Corp. that had occurred since early morning on July 2.

    A 26-year-old man was driving in Tokyo on the evening of July 2 and encountered a young man who had fallen over on a sidewalk. The thermometer in the driver's car read 37 degrees Celsius, and the young man was conscious but unable to keep his focus and was sweating a lot. Thinking that the man might be suffering from heatstroke, the driver tried to call the 119 emergency number on his cellphone, but was unable to get through.

    Instead, a woman passing by used her NTT Docomo Inc. cellphone to call an ambulance. However, the man who was unable to use his cellphone recalled, "I was very scared to think what would have happened if no one had passed by."

    Meanwhile, the ATMs of Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank, based in Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture, were unavailable due to the network problems. At one point, 190 of its 221 ATMs outside bank premises were not working. As of 6 p.m. on July 3, most of them had been restored except for 14 units.

    According to the bank, there were no major disruptions, as they posted signs at ATM locations to inform customers about available units.

    (Japanese original by Ikuko Ando, Tokyo City News Department, and Atsuko Ota, Nagoya News Center)

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