*Amazon's Launch in Japan is Its First Asian Venture

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E-commerce heavyweight Amazon.com yesterday entered the $3.2 billion Japanese e-commerce market with www.Amazon.co.jp.


Amazon's first Asian venture will make available 1.7 million Japanese and English titles through the e-commerce site. Foreign titles also will be available.


It is Amazon's fourth venture outside the United States, following sites in Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Although the Japanese site just launched, Amazon reported it already has 193,000 customers, based on Japanese users of the U.S. site.


Amazon will offer discounts on all English and foreign books and free delivery until the end of the year to lure customers. Japan's book distribution system made it unfeasible for Amazon to discount Japanese titles, Amazon officials reported.


"We want to be the earth's most customer-centric company," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said during a press conference in Tokyo.

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