Japan Articles

Watching YouTube Videos on Your Microwave
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There’s a microwave that has been getting some attention this week. It’s called CastOven, and it plays YouTube videos while you cook your food. Not only does it play videos, but it plays videos specifically catering to the amount of time you have the microwave set for.

The CastOven was created by two designers from Keio University in Japan, Keita Watanabe, Ph.D. and Shota Matsuda. Their description of the CastOven reads as follows:

YouTube Launches Promoted Videos In Australia, Japan
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YouTube’s Promoted Videos program has spread again.  In addition to Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S., promoted videos are now available in Australia and Japan.

If you’re not familiar with the Promoted Videos program, the following video does a pretty good job of explaining its purpose (odd motorcycle accident metaphor aside):

Yahoo Games Popular In Japan
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Japan’s online gaming population has increased 28 percent over the past year to 16.5 million visitors in July 2009, and reaching nearly one fourth of Japan’s online population, according to a new report from comScore.

"As a growing number of people turn to the Internet as an entertainment channel, many online gaming sites have seen their traffic levels swell to record numbers," said Maru Sato, managing director of comScore Japan.

Amazon Ordered To Pay $119 Million In Taxes To Japan
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Japan’s tax authorities have ordered an affiliate of Amazon.com to pay $119 million in back taxes for unreported income earned it the country during a three year span that ended in 2005.

U.S. companies that do business in Japan without branch offices are not required to file tax returns or pay taxes to the Japanese government.

YouTube Popular With Japanese Internet Users
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In February, nearly 74 percent of Japan’s online population visited an entertainment site, according to a new study from comScore.

Japanese Internet users spent nearly 15 percent of their total online time during the month on these sites, making the entertainment category one of the most popular and engaging content categories.

Yahoo More Popular Than Google In Japan
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In January, 6.8 billion searches were done in Japan, representing a 9 percent increase compared to a year ago and the highest monthly search volume on record.

Yahoo sites took the top spot in search with 3.5 billion searches during the month, up from 13 percent from the previous year, followed by Google sites with 2.6 billion searches (up 5%) and Rakuten with 153 million searches (up 38%). Excite Japan had the strongest growth of any search property in the top ten, growing 362 percent compared to a year ago to 52 million searches.

Street View Draws More Privacy Trouble to Google
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Google’s Street View feature on Google Maps is certainly no stranger to privacy concerns. It has attracted lawsuits, but it is still moving right along. Google even dismissed one lawsuit bringer as being "out of touch with the real world."

Displaying Images Directly From The Brain

The Pink Tentacle blog writes (update: currently getting a quota exceeded message there):

Japanese Favor Yahoo Music
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Nearly 40 percent of the Japanese online population visited an entertainment music site in August, according to a new study from comScore.

The study found that Japan had the highest penetration of users of Apple iTunes during the month, when compared to users in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

Google Maps Introducing English Labels For Japan
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Visiting a country in which English isn’t the official language can be tricky.  Visiting one in which the Latin alphabet isn’t common can be crazy.  But luckily for some travelers, Google’s trying to sort out the matter on its maps of Japan.

Japan Is Future Internet Ready
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It’s time for our periodic We-Suck-At-Internet rant, which entails comparing and despairing (thanks, Stewart Smalley) over how slow the Internet is in the US. Once again, Japan has us beat and is ready for next-generation applications like high-quality video streaming. But Slovenia? Lithuania? Latvia? They’re faster than us, too?

Japan Wants To Limit Kid’s Mobile Usage
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Japanese children should have limited access to mobile phones to protect them from harmful content according to an advisory panel to the government.

The advisory council on education made the proposal to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda as children become more likely to be exposed to cyber crimes and bullying on Internet school bulletin boards.

Japanese Take Wireless Net To Warp Speed
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Just a reminder: Traffic prioritization and management won’t matter much once we realize the full potential of fiber and other technologies on the near horizon. Second reminder: Those in control of the networks plan on gouging you the whole way via controlled, incremental upgrades in speed and capacity.

Charging 40 times bandwidth? Sure if it’s still 2005. The network providers are looking at a much better rate than that, at least for the foreseeable future, so long as the future can be delayed long enough to maximize profit.

Google Japan Gets Makeover
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Google Japan probably isn’t a site you visit on a daily basis.  You might want to make a special stop this once, though, because it’s undergone a mildly interesting change.

Google Japan Gets New Design

The Google Japan homepage was redesigned, as some of you are seeing it (and as the Google Japan blog reports). Perhaps this only shows in some locations – I can’t see it yet – but Colin Colehour posted some screenshots in the forum. As far as I can tell the four tabs consist of:

TV Mobile Phone Shipments In Japan Hit 20 Million
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Total shipments in Japan of mobile phones compatible with digital terrestrial television broadcast services reached 20 million units for the first time since the service was launched in 2006.

The figure was reached in December, due to the shipments of more than 1 million mobiles during the month according to the Telecommunications Carriers Association.

U.S. Online Gambling Deal Is Classified
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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative reached a deal with the European Union, Japan and Canada over the U.S. ban on online gambling, but the problem is the details of the agreement have never been made public.

Japanese Police Bust Virus Writer

Police in Kyoto have arrested three men, who were involved in a plot to infect users of the P2P file-sharing network Winny with a Trojan horse that displayed images of anime characters while erasing music and movie files.

The malware called Harada is thought to be connected to the Pirlames Trojan horse which anti-spam firm Sophos reported blocking in Japan last year. The three men have admitted they took part in the crime. One man wrote the malware, while the other two are thought to have distributed the malicious code through Winny.

Baidu’s Turning Japanese

Baidu.com, Inc. the leading Chinese language Internet search provider, has formally launched its Japanese language search engine at www.baidu.jp.


Their Japanese language search engine is run by Baidu’s Japanese subsidiary, Baidu, Inc.

Baidu Japanese homepage

Baidu Tries Again In Japan

China’s top search engine, Baidu, crosses the waves to Japan where it will face off against Yahoo’s formidable presence, as well as Google.

Court Rules Against Amazon In Basis Technology Suit

Popular online retailer Amazon.com has found its self on the losing end of a lawsuit brought by Basis Technology concerning the establishment of Amazon’s Japan subsidiary and its Japanese ecommerce site Amazon.co.jp.