The President Of Japan Liberal Democratic Party(LDP) Begins Twitter

Sadakazu Tanigaki (official site) [J], the president of Liberal Democratic Party(LDP), which is a political party who had dominated Japanese politics for half an century since the mid-1950s and got debacle at last national election against Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), started Twitter (@Tanigaki_S), with taking back his former remarks that he would never use Twitter in January. [J]

So far, he tweeted 12 messages in four days, most of which are long, close to 140 limit, with no replies(@). He quickly got about 30,000 followers but only follows 44, most of them are LDP represents.

But one tweet [J] is to thank to suggestions to follow his opponent DPJ’s head prime minister Yukio Hatoyama (@hatoyamayukio, and he followed Hatoyama’s account. @hatoyamayukio has about 540,000 followers, which is ranked 2nd in Japanese only behind everyone’s hero @Gachapin.

As we reported on the beginning of this year, LDP’s head, Japan’s prime minister has been tweeting for 4 months now. We may see tweet-to-tweet debates between two big party leaders soon.

Japanese Blog Queen Tasted Twitter And Gave Up

Shoko Nakagawa (aka Shokotan), one of the most successful Japanese celebrity bloggers, finally started Twitter (@shokonakagawa) on February 24th with a tweet “I begin to chirp…” [J].

This could have been a milestone for Japanese Twitter to show the centre of the celebrity blogging moving from regular blog to microblog. However, after posting 15 tweets sparsely in 2 months, she posted that she “gave up doing both blog and Twitter” [J].

Her blogging style, which make her very unique among celebrities her early days to become popular, is to post a lot of one line entries and/or photos taken by her cellphone, sometimes makes 50 posts per day. You may see those numbers on the left sidebar’s monthly archives. Her style made a lot of followers of Japanese celebrity bloggers.

In the end, what she did on blog platforms (she has been switched her blog hosting twice) is “microblogging on blog”, and if so, she could not find any advantage on Twitter, which does not have built-in photo upload/show features and the Japanese cellphone version of which has room to be improved.

CyberAgent‘s Ameba blog, which holds over thousand celebrity bloggers including Shokotan, has been running its own Twitter clone Ameba Now, to hope to keep their bloggers within the Ameba sites. And this incident may be a hint that they can lean on and extend their clone, as Twitter will not be able to enhance its functionalities only for Japanese celebrity market.

“Google Is Nothing Special” Yahoo! Japan President Brags Their Supremacy

An interview to the president of Yahoo! Japan Masahiro Inoue (photo) by Nikkei Business Magazine with a catchy title “Google? I think none of their services are cool.” is getting huge attentions in Japanese web.

To answer the interviewer’s comment “By comparing Google’s services such like Street View and Book Search, Yahoo! seems not to generate surprising services”, Inoue said “Google’s those services are nothing impressive for me. There are tons of things you would do if there are no laws and rules. If you abide laws, your options are restricted. You should not do what you are not supposed to do.”

He continued, “Those Google’s services surprised people are all in gray zone. Advertising on search result was copied from Yahoo!, Street View is kind of peeping, Book Search is violation of copyright law, lots of YouTube traffic are illegally uploaded. You may say that those are cool. But can established company behave like that? In Yahoo! those projects should be stopped by legal section.”

Overall, reactions to the article from Japanese blogs, tweets and social bookmarks are negative to the president. Net-savvy people have been loving No.2 search engine Google and its enterprising spirit. Many comments tell that they have never used Yahoo! in several years.

However, majority of Japanese net users never express their opinions on those social media, or never knew what social media is, and visit huge Yahoo! portal every day, click ads and buy things online. National clients also prefer Yahoo! for their ads maybe because Yahoo! Japan is such a conservative company.

Yahoo! Japan goes oversea?

The interviewer Kei Ogasawara also asked if Yahoo! Japan expands to oversea markets.

Inoue answered that Yahoo! brand is licensed for their activities within Japan, and Japanese web market is promising enough to get more.

Interestingly, he revealed that they were suggested to go abroad by US Yahoo! before, which Yahoo! Japan disagreed with and was not realized.

He also talks on their original developed “Interest Match” ads system, and a plan to license it back to US Yahoo! in future.

J-Magic CEO Now Joins Mixi

Today, J-Magic[J] CEO Takuya Miyata[J] (@takmiyata[J]) unveiled that he had joined Japan’s largest social network service company Mixi[J] as an employee working with the Mixi business department.

Takuya Miyata's Portrait

As reported here on Asiajin, J-Magic handed over their breed-winning business of the face recognition mobile app to Mobile Factory last month, and they have been said to shut down all business very soon.   CNET Japan asked them how they would be running themselves[J], but no comment was given on that.

Here’s an English translation of what he has posted on his blog:

Besides having announced in our press release that we handed over our mobile app business to our partners, we decided to cut down or close the other all business.   We all thank our shareholders, our partners, our clients and all whom may be involved for their support.

And please excuse me my impoliteness that I tell you suddenly that, I joined Mixi.   Needless to say, Mixi is no longer just a social network service operator, but now leading this country’s entire Internet economy.   By making the most of my experience that I’ve been working in Japan and abroad, I will do my best for the company’s further success.   I appreciate your support.

News: Winny developer found not guilty

Judge Ogura at Osaka High Court found Isamu Kaneko, a developer of Winny, not guilty today, reversing the guilty ruling of 1.5 million yen fine made by the lower court.

Winny is a popular P2P file sharing software in Japan. Kaneko developed Winny and released it on notorious 2channel forum on May 6th, 2002.

In 2004, the developer was arrested for abetting copyright infringement. Prosecutor’s office said that Kaneko has created Winny to proliferate copyright infringement to overthrow copyright system in Japan.

However, Osaka High Court concluded that the accused didn’t have a clear intent to proliferate copyright violation. Also the judge decided that he can’t condemn Kaneko for just knowing that copyright piracy is rampant in Winny network.

Disclosure: Shunichi Arai is a vocal supporter of Isamu Kaneko.