I am moving to Sasebo, Japan, for three years, and am hoping that I can use my AT&T Cel phone there with either Softbank or Docomo service without having to get a new phone. Anyone had any luck doing this? Thanks in advance! -Pat

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    Not a full answer, but there are actually 3 different versions of the iPhone 7, including one that is specific to Japan. It will most probably work, but may not be able to use all the available bands, and it will not support Apple Pay using Felica.
    – jcaron
    Sep 13, 2018 at 22:59

1 Answer 1


If your phone is locked, it won't recognize Japanese SIM. You must unlock your phone, make it a SIM FREE phone. After that, you are free to use any services you want.

Regarding @jcaron comment, Apple Pay can be used in Japan just like in US. You need to change the region of your phone from US to Japan for it to recognize Japanese credit/debit/prepaid cards.

Please note that only iPhone 7 purchased inside Japan (model J/A) can be used as commuter card (Suica). https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207154 (from @Zack Lipton's comment)

  • Apple Pay may work, but Suica isn't supposed to work on an iPhone 7 unless it was purchased in Japan. I believe the hardware support for this was only present in the Japan-sold models until the iPhone 8/iPhone X and newer. Sep 14, 2018 at 2:42
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    Actually, I'm using a non-Japan iPhone X and I can confirm that it works with Suica just like Japan model. My friend also own an unlocked AT&T iPhone for such case. As I mention above, it didn't recognize Suica card until I change the region to Japan
    – Binh
    Sep 14, 2018 at 3:01
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    Yes, for the iPhone X, Suica works. As per the linked document, It only works with an iPhone 7 purchased in Japan. For a newer iPhone, it works with any model, but for the 7 sold outside Japan, it's not supported, apparently because it's missing a certification mark. Sep 14, 2018 at 3:13
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    Haven't read that properly. Edited my answer :)
    – Binh
    Sep 14, 2018 at 6:59
  • @Zach lipton: Thanks, i didn't know i could use swica with my iPhone. i will definitely try that when back in japan. Sep 14, 2018 at 7:54

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