AT&T has announced that, for the rest of March, calls and texts to Japanese numbers from its mobile network (and also calls from its fixed lines) will be free of charge.

The move is to help out US citizens trying to reach their friends and families in Japan, following the terrible earthquakes and tsunamis that hit the country at the end of last week.

"We want to help our customers connect with loved ones in Japan in any way we can," said Mark Collins, senior vice president, Voice and Data Products, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets.

"Connecting with family and friends is most important at times like this- we want to make it as easy and worry free as possible for our customers."

Yep, we know that AT&T's reasoning behind this probably isn't entirely in the name of charity, and the exposure it receives will probably far outweigh any cost it incurs, but it's still a decent gesture, and one that will help enormously for people trying frantically to contact their loved ones.

AT&T has also announced that TV Japan is also available free until 17 March for all U-verse TV subscribers.

Update: Never wanting to be outdone, Verizon has also now offered up a similar proposal.

See also - Google helps Japan earthquake victims with Person Finder