Sony has announced that its PlayStation Network is now back online in Japan after over a month of down time.

A full statement from the company was released last night, alongside a new video from PlayStation global boss Kaz Hirai. Both can be read/watched below:

Sony Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) announced that Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI, the company) will begin a phased restoration of PlayStationNetwork and Qriocity Services in Japan and Asian countries and regions including Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand*1 on May 28. A new identity protection program will also be offered in conjunction with the phased restoration for PlayStation Network and Qriocity customers in Japan.

Increased Security Measures

Working closely with respected outside security firms, the company has implemented new and additional security measures that strengthen safeguards against unauthorized activity, and provide consumers with greater protection of their personal information.

The company has made considerable enhancements to the data security, including updating and adding advanced security technologies, additional software monitoring and penetration and vulnerability testing, and increased levels of encryption and additional firewalls. The company also added a variety of other measures to the network infrastructure including an early-warning system for unusual activity patterns that could signal an attempt to compromise the network.

As an additional measure, a Chief Information Security Officer was created at SNEI who will work to reinforce overall information security across the company's network infrastructure.

"I'd also like to send my sincere regret to customers in Japan and Asian countries and regions for the inconvenience these events have caused you," said Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation. "We are taking aggressive action including increasing security measures and working with respective authorities to address the concerns that were raised by this incident. We are making consumer data protection a full-time, company wide commitment so that our customers can rest assured about enjoying their entertainment."

The first phase of restored services for these countries and regions will include:

* Sign-in for PlayStationNetwork and Qriocity services, including the resetting of passwords
* Restoration of online game-play across PS3 and PSP
* 'Friends' category on PS3, including Friends List, Chat Functionality, Trophy Comparison, etc
* PlayStation Home
* Access to other network features on services such as torne*
(Customers will not be able to download movies rented through PlayStation Network video download service because movies have expired as a result of PlayStation Network service being turned off since April 21 (JST).) **
* torne is a service available only in Japan.
** Please contact customer support if this is the case.
*** PlayStation Store, Video on Demand Powered by Qriocity service for Japan and any service that involves transaction is not available at this time.

Identity Protection Measures

While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, the company is committed to helping its customers protect their personal data and is continuing to work with several security firms to determine the extent of customer data which may have illegally been taken following the criminal cyber-attack on PlayStation Network and Qriocity services in April. Also credit card companies have not reported any increase in the number of fraudulent credit card transactions as a result of the attack, nor have they reported any fraudulent transactions that they believe are a direct result of the illegal attack.

* In addition to the existing customer service call center, SCE has established a phone hotline to offer customer guidance on the restoration of services, or measures to protect themselves against identity theft and fraud (operating hours: 9AM to 7PM*3).
* With the support from credit card companies, SCE will bear the expenses to reissue new credit cards to those customers who request to replace their existing credit cards when it involves charges.
The company will be offering a "Welcome Back" package of services and premium content to all registered customers. The details of this program will be announced in each region shortly. For details on Japan, please refer to the separately attached sheet or visit:

Details on Asian countries and regions will be announced shortly.

*1 Service restoration in Korea and Hong Kong will be announced as soon as ready.

*2 Measures are subject to change depending on the finding from the investigation.

*3 Opening hours once part of the PlayStation Network service resumes. SCE will extend its normal operating hours of 10AM to 6PM.