Latest News

Wednesday, 18th July 2012
In Business In Japan,

Japanese consumers to turn to digital books?

Japanese consumers are expected finally to embrace the digital world of e-readers with the launch of a new device tomorrow (July 19th).

Amazon's biggest rival in Japan, Rakuten Inc, is introducing a Kobo e-reader to the market in a bid to maintain its competitive edge.

Analysts suggested the move was finally being supported by traditional print publishers who are afraid Amazon will begin to monopolise the market, Reuters reported.

As Rakuten is a Japanese business, it believed publishers would prefer it to succeed than its American rival.

Chief executive of Rakuten Hiroshi Mikitani said: "In the last two months [publishers'] attitude has completely changed.

"Before they were sceptical or worried about the negative impact on the business. Now they have changed their mind. This is their opportunity."

According to a report by the Guardian, the only success story for digital reading so far has been the downloading of Manga comics to mobile handsets.

Companies like Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic have all attempted to conquer the Japanese digital market but have had little progress.

It remains to be seen how Rakuten will fare as it attempts to draw the great reading population towards digital reading.

Posted by Mark Smith