Signal jamming equipment will be installed in examination rooms at driving licence centres in Tokyo after dozens of Chinese nationals used their mobile phones to cheat on the written section of their tests.
Tokyo Metropolitan Police acted after finding that about 200 Chinese were issued with a licence to drive in Japan even though they could hardly read the written questions. They were coached via their phones how to write the correct answers.
They passed the test by wearing concealed earphones connected wirelessly to their mobile phones.
Police declined to comment on the reports yesterday, but stories in local media said several Chinese nationals were taken into custody in June last year over the scam, including one who acted as a broker in helping them to get their licences.
A similar tactic was reportedly used by students at Japanese universities in the past. In 2011, a 19-year-old who used the online name Aicezuki was briefly the most wanted person in Japan as police launched an investigation over cheating to get into some of Japan's most prestigious universities.
The student used a mobile phone to take photos of entrance exams for maths and English while the tests were taking place and uploaded them onto the internet, allowing others to see them before they took the tests, as well as posting answers for him. Around 20 people posted answers to Aicezuki's uploaded questions on the Yahoo Chiebukuro (pearls of wisdom) site, the Japanese equivalent of Yahoo Answers.
Working with the Tokyo metropolitan government, the police said they would install jamming equipment within the examination facilities at the city's three driving test centres in October. The devices are designed to emit radio waves with the same frequency as mobile phone signals and interfere with incoming calls.