1. Headline
  1. Headline
Helen Popkin
By
msnbc.com
updated 8/17/2010 8:19:05 PM ET 2010-08-18T00:19:05

The 47,000 U.S. military personnel stationed on bases in Japan aren't always popular with the locals. "Noise, disruption and base-related crime," are three common complaints, and now there’s one more: Babies.

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. 'Everybody loves you, buddy!' Joe Biden surprises Al Roker for his birthday

      He's America's favorite weatherman, he makes us smile every day, he's dynamic — and now, Al Roker is 60! "It's nice to be ...

    2. On milestone birthday, Al Roker shares 6 lessons for 6 decades
    3. Little League coach: Inspiring postgame speech 'came spontaneously'
    4. President Bush accepts Jenna Bush Hager's Ice Bucket Challenge
    5. Dad accused of shooting drunk driver who killed sons

Okay, not babies exactly, but rather baby monitors used by U.S. military families. They're disrupting taxi service communications near bases in Okinawa, Tokyo, Kanagawa and other areas, the BBC reports.

The disruptive baby babbling is no small concern. According to the Japanese internal affairs and communications ministry, the U.S.-purchased devices operate on the same frequencies used by cell phones as well as radio communications. As unlicensed devices operating on regulated frequencies, they're illegal in that country. The ministry is concerned that crossed signals could affect emergency services communications.

"Our ministry is asking the U.S. military for permission to visit the families who are illegally emitting these frequencies and personally ask them to avoid using the baby monitors," a ministry official told AFP news agency.

While it's not clear whether the U.S. military will allow the ministry to start knocking on doors, a U.S. official says that the military discourages U.S. baby monitors by personnel stationed in Japan.

An emergency system meltdown isn't a far flung idea, considering that baby monitors are little more than FM transmitters operating on fixed signals. Here on the U.S., there are plenty of odd or amusing tales about baby monitors picking up neighboring baby monitors and cell phone conversations — one video baby monitor even picked up NASA transmissions.

All the kids are doin' it! Follow Helen A.S. Popkin on Twitter, or just friend her on Facebook. What are ya, chicken?

© 2013 msnbc.com Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. ‘Everybody loves you, buddy!’Joe Biden surprises Al for birthday

    For the last year, Al has been begging the vice president to join TODAY’s Take and it finally happened! That was just one of the many surprises for Roker on his big day.

    8/20/2014 2:06:34 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T14:06:34
  2. On milestone birthday, Al shares 6 lessons for 6 decades

    First, 50th-birthday celebrations were in order for TODAY’s Hoda Kotb. Now, co-anchor Al Roker, who joined the national broadcast in 1996, is celebrating the big 6-0 and he's sharing six lessons he learned along the way.

    8/20/2014 12:08:26 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T12:08:26
  3. video Jennifer Hudson, Heidi Klum and more send well-wishes

    video Some famous faces send along happy birthday messages for TODAY’s Al Roker. “You make 60 look hot,” said Heidi Klum.

    8/20/2014 2:10:22 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T14:10:22
  4. TODAY
  1. Courtesy of Bush Family

    President Bush accepts Jenna Bush Hager's Ice Bucket Challenge

    8/20/2014 11:04:14 AM +00:00 2014-08-20T11:04:14
  1. Steven Senne / AP file

    video Parents honor journalist James Foley slain by ISIS: An ‘extraordinary son’

    8/20/2014 11:44:55 AM +00:00 2014-08-20T11:44:55