If you've been on the train in Japan, you've likely seen the stickers and signs plastered everywhere around the priority seats asking people to make room for those who need and to turn off cell phones.
While you should definitely continue to give your seat to anyone who needs it, starting next month, you'll no longer have to feel guilty about playing Angry Birds in the priority seating section-unless it's rush hour.
Starting on the first day of October, all JR and most private train lines in the Kanto (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, etc.) and Tohoku (Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, etc.) regions will be changing their rules about cell phones around priority seats.
Currently, you're expected to turn off your cell phone in the priority seating area, though we have to admit we've never actually seen anyone do that. In fact, it's almost weird to spot someone not looking at their cell phone around the priority seats…or anywhere else on the train for that matter.
From October, though, you'll be allowed to use your phone wherever you like except during rush hour.
source by newsonjapan