Sony is saying that this is a voluntary effort to cooperate with Japanese authorities, as they are not actually legally obliged to wait for permission to restart their services in Asia.
However, it's worth pointing out that in Japan it is common to allow companies and individuals to take "voluntary" actions to save face or prevent a public appearance of contention. There is also generally a greater public expectation of privacy amongst the Japanese, so their regulators are more less amused with Sony than American authorities.
Make of Sony's voluntary claims what you will.
I live in Japan and have been following this news all day. The info in the headline and summary about the the reactors is complete incorrect. As to what has actually been happening:
First, the linked article is from 7 hours ago and is referring to the second explosion at Fukushima Daiichi of Reactor #3. The current situation as of 8PM Japan time was that the cooling system of Reactor #2 finally died and they just recently started filling it with seawater like the other reactors. This reactor is likely to cause another hydrogen explosion like the other two failed reactors before it. Also like the other reactors, this one may have suffered from some partial melting of its fuel rods.
Secondly, the article implies that thousands have died as a result of the problems at the Fukushima reactors. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! There have been reports of non-serious injuries and VERY mild radiation contamination but nothing that warrants any kind of panic yet.
Slashdot editors, please rewrite or delete this article, it is just spreading misinformation!
This is actually a totally understandable response to the flawed user profile/content ownership system on the PS3. Really the only thing that surprises me is that it took this long to happen!
Basically, on the 360 permissions work out such that your purchased content can be used by you or any other user on the console it was originally bought from and roams with you, but can only be used by you on other consoles. This means I can play SomeGame X with my friend at his home, but he can't play it once my account is gone.
As I understand it The PS3 ownership model doesn't seem to really do anything at all, so as another poster mentioned you can basically share PSN Games and DLC with abandon.
This didn't need to happen this way but somebody skimped on the planning stages for this whole downloadable content thing and left the door wide open to abuse. I'd love to see a way to digitally transfer ownership legitimately, but that is an argument for another day.
The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."