Amazon reportedly making progress with Japanese publishers

Any of our readers in Japan who are waiting for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) to start selling e-books and its Kindle e-reader the country are very likely running out of patience.

We’ve been following Japanese news reports over the past six months or so, and more than once we’ve heard that its coming soon only to be later disappointed.

Taking a look back at previous news reports, we can see that the delays are getting more than a little tired:

  • October 2011: Nikkei Business Daily says Amazon is in late stage negotiations, and could enter e-book market sometime in 2011, bringing the Kindle as well.
  • December 2011: Kyodo News reports Amazon does not have enough publishers on board, and the new target date could be spring 2012.
  • February 2012: Nikkei Business Daily (again) says that the Kindle e-book reader will sell in Japan as early as April, with free data via Docomo’s 3G network.

And today Asahi (and in less detail, the Daily Yomiuri yesterday) says that Amazon has finally struck with key Japanese publishers, and names Gakken Holdings Co., Shufunotomo Co., and PHP Inc. as notable ones. As for the Kindle’s release, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos is cited as saying that a date will be announced by the end of this year.

That date is more than a long way off, and perhaps Bezos has learned that Amazon will need more than a little breathing room to negotiate with Japanese publishers, given the headaches that the company appears to have experienced thus far.

As for the company’s other e-commerce business, Amazon aspires to grow 30 percent every year going forward in Japan. And to that end it began airing a TV commercial for “Amazon Fashion.”

» This article originally appeared on Tech In Asia, and is reproduced here with permission.

This article originally appeared in Tech In Asia.