The PSN isn't coming back to Japan any time soon, thanks to a number of concerns from the country's credit card companies.
As the PSN is gradually brought back online across the globe, there's one nation where the service is still down: Japan. Sony's home country is still PSN-less, and no indication has been given about when it will be re-launched. The reason, it turns out, isn't due to infrastructure issues, but to demands from both the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, as well as various credit card companies.
Basically, the two groups are asking that Sony detail protections it has in place for Japanese credit card users. According to Saturday's edition of the Asashi Shimbun daily, credit card companies are concerned because (in Japan) would have to reimburse card users if their cards are fraudulently used.
The concern is rather understandable: In America, Sony signed an insurance deal that will cover up to $1 million in damages if a card is stolen. No such deal exists in Japan.
Meanwhile, there's also this:
It appears that Sony has not been forthcoming with providing card companies with requested information. The Japan Consumer Credit Card Association has a policy in place where in the event that member information is leaked, the offending company must pass the information on to the card companies so that they can strengthen their watch for misuse. Sony says that while it cannot rule out the possibility that card data has leaked out, it is currently investigating whether it has.
METI has repeatedly asked Sony to clarify its policy on card user safety. According to Asahi, Sony has at long last begun to respond.
It certainly sucks for Japanese gamers who've been patiently waiting for the PSN to return, especially since it sounds like it's being held up by red tape rather than actual tech limitations. Hopefully things will get ironed out soon.