updated 01:25 pm EDT, Wed April 13, 2005
Apple Japan president Yoshiaki Sakito yesterday announced that Apple is set to launch an in the country. In Japan, digital music services have been slow starting, hampered by rigid controls by record companies. Digital music players have recently become very popular, and iTunes in Japan will likely speed up growth of the digital music market, industry sources said. In the face of the rapid growth of the digital music market, however, Avex, a major CD production company, announced it will launch a digital music business, and other CD firms are leaning toward accepting such a move. Label Gate and Microsoft began small-scale digital music operations in Japan last year, but their offerings are not compatible with the iPod. Since April 2003, Apple has sold music through its iTunes Music Store in the United States and Europe for 99 cents, or about 107 yen, per song.