Japanese Search Targets U.S. Counterparts

    June 14, 2006

According to the proverb “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” search competitors Google, Yahoo, and MSN would do well to band together in the face of a new threat. Thirty Japanese companies, with the support of the Japanese government, are joining up to create a competing search engine.

Hitachi Ltd., Fujitsu Ltd., and the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone group are just a few of the major players involved in the new cooperative effort. There is apparently a concern over the fact that world’s top three search engines are all based in the U.S., and the Japanese group seeks to alter this reality with their offering.

The hope of ending that monopoly of sorts is one reason why the Japanese government stepped in to provide funding. The government, and the group, also disapproved of Google’s censoring actions in China, and hope to set a better example.

This new search engine will supposedly be modifiable by users, including businesses, for specific purposes. It may feature “next generation” search technology.

The news came from MSN Mainichi Japan. An English translation of the article can be read here. According to the piece, it appears the product should launch within two years, with actual work on it beginning in two days (June 16). It also mentions an effort on the part of the French government in the area of “individual search technology.”

Many challengers have made attacks on the big American search companies, to little or no effect. The combination of these major Japanese corporations, and the Japanese government itself, could pose a challenge, though. It may be time for Google, Yahoo, and MSN to circle the wagons.

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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.