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Event: Echelon 2012 Japan Satellite In Tokyo This Friday (April 27)

Singapore-based tech blog e27 is holding Echelon 2012 on June 11-12, a startup event the site calls the biggest of its kind in Asia.

As in previous years, Echelon will take place in Singapore (the first one was organized back in 2010), and the main event is preceded by a number of lead-up events in various countries.

These so-called Satellites already took place in the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Taiwan. The goal here is to identify cool startups for the Startup Marketplace exhibition at Echelon proper in June.

And now, it’s Japan’s turn.

Here are all details for the Echelon 2012 Japan Satellite event:

Date and time:
April 27 (this Friday), 2012 – from 10am-5pm

Venue:
Open Network Lab, Inc.
Daikanyama DG Building, Ebisu-minami 3-5-7, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps

Registration (free admission):
link to registration in English
link to registration in Japanese/English on ATND

Event details:
9.00am : Registration starts
10.00am : Opening remarks by e27
10.10am : Opening Speech by Mr Mikihiro Yasuda, Open Network Labs
10.20am : Keynote – Case study of a successful Startup Pivot by Simon Newstead
10.40am : Keynote by Mr Yasuhiko Yurimoto, Global Brain
11.00am : Startup Pitches 1
12.30pm : Lunch
1.30pm : Keynote, The BlackBerry Opportunity by Alan Wong
1.50pm : Keynote by Sandeep Cassi
2.10pm : Keynote – An overseas experience for Japanese startups by Hiromichi Ando
2.30pm : Startup Pitches 2
4.00pm : Results and announcements

full list of speakers
full agenda

event hashtag:
#echelon2012

I am expecting the event to hit full capacity very soon, so if you’re interested, you should register as soon as possible.

Yahoo! Japan News Introduces Facebook Comment System

Japan’s largest news portal Yahoo! Japan’s Yahoo! News silently added Facebook comments on news pages, between Yahoo! Japan’s own comment system and Realtime-search results from Twitter.

According to an article [J] on How-to Sharing site Nanapi by its CEO Kensuke Furukawa, Yahoo! Japan’s COO Kentaro Kawanabe, who were recently appointed, posted a test comment on this news of US dollar-Japanese Yen currency rate [J].

Yahoo! News’s topics sometimes gets hundreds to thousands comments posted by Yahoo! Japan account. In 2009, Yahoo! Japan introduced the referring Twitter messages under “Realtime Search” tab. This time, they are trying to let Facebook users make more buzz on the news on Yahoo! News, and that will work good for Facebook.

US Yahoo! News accepts comments by Facebook/Google account, but the posted comments are under Yahoo’s comment system. This change must be one of the expected moves when the ex-Yahoo! Japan CEO Masahiro Inoue told on his leave that the new boards would focus on social media and mobile.

Three Of Japan’s Top Telcos Standardize Display Of Email Emoticons

Three of Japan’s four biggest mobile carriers, namely NTT Docomo, KDDI au, and eAccess, are about to make it easier for their combined subscriber base of roughly 90 million people to exchange emails with other.

The plan is to standardize the display of emoticons, or emoji in Japanese, across handsets offered by the three networks.

As of now, certain emoji aren’t correctly displayed when sent from the cell phone of a Docomo user to that of a KDDI user, for example. I am not a big emoji fan, but The Nikkei says that if a Docomo subscriber sends an emoji showing i.e. Taurus the Bull to somebody using a KDDI phone, a cow is displayed.

What may sound trivial is actually quite a big deal in Japan, where emoji have been in use since 1999 and emails have been the most popular way to communicate between mobile phone users since.

It’s especially young people who use emoji excessively. Around 2008, the lack of emoji support was blamed as one of the factors leading to the (initially) sluggish sales of the iPhone in Japan. In the same year, it was Google Japan’s local team that made it possible for Gmail users worldwide to use emoji in their messages.

KDDI an eAccess are also in the process of creating around 200 new emoji that fit NTT Docomo’s most popular ones. The standardization will kick off with new handsets released this summer.

SoftBank Mobile, Japan’s No. 3 carrier, isn’t part of the agreement: the company says it simply doesn’t display problematic emoji sent from handsets offered by other carriers on its handsets.

Japan’s Web News Week 16

This week’s Japanese Web/IT related news which we did not write as a dedicated article.

Referred pages are all in Japanese, unless otherwise stated.

If you want to know any specific news more, but unable to find them in other English blog/media, please let us know.

Rakuten To Dissolve Lekutian In China, Joint-Mall With Baidu

Japan’s largest e-mall company Rakuten today announced [J] that they would shut down its Chinese e-mall Lekutian(rakuten.cn) planned in May, 2012.

Rakuten jointly established Lekutian with China’s search engine giant Baidu in January 2010, and began the mall in October 2010.

The reason is explained as Lekutian did not show the growth they had expected, which is because the environment of e-commerce in China has been becoming too competitive.