Japan’s three main mobile operators are to join forces on NFC technology in a bid to provide their customers with a contactless solution that will work internationally and in harmony with Japan’s local m-payments platform.

Announced today, the Japan Mobile NFC Consortium is a venture between operators NTT Docomo, KDDI, and SoftBank.

While all three operators already offer ‘Osaifu- Keitai’ (wallet phone) mobile services based on Sony’s FeliCa contactless smartcard platform, the technology has gained little traction outside of Japan where the NFC standard is dominant.

“Overseas, mobile operators and service providers are increasingly adopting Type A and Type B standards to develop growing markets for NFC services. In view of this worldwide trend, the consortium intends to work with mobile industry groups in Japan, including service suppliers and handset manufacturers, to incorporate compatibility with the Type A and B standards in the Japanese mobile ecosystem.”

The consortium said it aims to “free mobile users in Japan, both residents and international travelers, from having to concern themselves about different NFC service standards,” and “create an environment in Japan where service providers can offer efficient, low-cost NFC services based on common standards and rules adopted by the three mobile operators.”