• The Associated Press

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PayPal, the online payment unit of Internet commerce firm eBay Inc., is planning to break into the Japanese market — the first time it has entered a region without eBay’s powerful auction business.

Acquired by eBay in 2002, PayPal in most markets relies on its parent company’s online auction behemoth for a steady supply of buyer and seller accounts, plus the lucrative transactions and brand recognition that follow.

But in Japan, where eBay has been largely absent for eight years, PayPal is starting from scratch in a mature market, and must ink individual deals with retailers and shopping sites, as well as convince users to sign on.

“We’re very, very new, we have a very small share of the market, so we still see great opportunities for Japan,” said Andrew Pipolo, who heads PayPal’s operations in the country, told a news conference in Tokyo

The auction company pulled out of Japan in 2002, conceding the booming market to Yahoo Japan, which is still dominant today and operates independently from its U.S. namesake. It was a rare defeat for eBay, which in 2007 announced a minor deal to let Japanese shoppers access its items through Yahoo Japan’s site.

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