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What is a type B electrical socket and plug?

Type "B" electrical sockets are familiar to most people in North America as being regular grounded wall outlets. Plugs consist of two elongated, flat metal prongs with holes near their ends that are used to help secure the plug within its socket and a round grounding prong without holes that extends beyond the length of the flat prongs. It's important to note that in Japan, where type "B" sockets are also used, the flat-prong socket holes are identical instead of one being wider than the other, as in North America. This means that Japanese electrical plugs fit North American wall outlets but North American electrical plugs do not fit Japanese outlets. Because of this, you should check to see that any electrical equipment you bring to Japan supports Japanese wall outlets in addition to Japanese voltage. Furthermore, you should expect type "B" sockets to be rarer in Japan than type "A".

last updated 2008.06.30
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