Japanese publishers do not allow price discounting. They set the price and it sticks. E-books are popular in Japan, “estimated by Nomura Holdings Inc. to be four times those of the U.S.” If they can read English, someone in Japan could have a Kindle and buy books in English, but not Japanese.
Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp., Japan’s two biggest consumer electronics makers, have scrapped their e-reader business in the country and Amazon.com Inc. has yet to offer its Kindle in Japanese.According to the article, Japan is nervous about the iPad. It offers more than just the ability to read e-books. It has color and tons of apps that do more than offer books.
Like in the U.S., sales are slipping in books and magazines. Now iPad comes along with the capability of combining text, video and audio, and it’s intuitive with a touchpad. The Japanese are used to reading on their cell phones - they started the books by texting phenomenon. For the most part, they’re not looking for eReaders that just allow you to read. The iPad is the first to offer more.
Some publishers in Japan are concerned about how the iPad might affect pricing negotiations. This seems to be the first e-Reader which might get a stronghold in Japan, open the market, and have a definite impact on the publishing industry there.