Amazon to launch Kindle in Japan

JIJI

Leading U.S. online retailer Amazon.com says it’s ready to soon launch its Kindle electronic book reader in Japan.

“We plan to launch the e-book device by the end of this year,” an official at Amazon Japan said, declining further comment.

Amazon hopes to tap into the Japanese market by using the strong customer base it has established through its online shopping services. Many e-book devices now sold in Japan are priced at ¥20,000 to ¥30,000, but the Kindle will likely have a lower price tag.

Devices developed by companies like Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. are available, while online shopping mall operator Rakuten Inc. is set to release a low-priced e-book reader in July.

Amazon is collaborating with midsize Japanese publisher PHP Inc. to digitize books published by the company.

It is also reportedly talking with major publishers such as Kodansha and Shinchosha on cooperating in the e-book business.