"Japanese consumers still seem dead set against adopting e-books, showing less interest in them than even the print-worshipping French. According to an R.R. Bowker study, 72% of Japanese consumers said they had not tried e-books and did not want to try them. That compares with 66% of French respondents polled. Overall adoption rates in Japan remain the lowest in the developed world. Only 8% of Japanese readers have downloaded and paid for an e-book compared with 20% in the U.S.”

Canadian eReading company Kobo has opened up an eBook store in Japan and will introduce its eReaders to the country on July 19th. Kobo eReaders go on presale today  through the new Japanese Kobo e-commerce sitefor ¥7,980 or $100 US.

The news comes as Amazon has its own plans to enter the Japanese eBook market. The company recently listed Kindles in Amazon’s Japanese store explaining that the devices are coming soon…

According to Impress (Japanese news source) this new Asus tablet boasts a rugged design that allows for drops from heights as great as 76cm, and the tablet is waterproof to IPX4 standards (meaning the tablet is protected against water splashes but don’t drop this tablet in your tub and expect it to be unscathed) and dustproof to IPX5 standards (meaning the tablet is protected against most dust but not all dust).

 

An avid Twitter user’s desire to help Japan recover from the devastating March earthquake and tsunami has resulted in a charity e-book based on material gathered from around the world — all within three days.

 

With Yoko Ono and cult sci-fi author William Gibson among the contributors, the e-book “2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake” was available for download within a month and raised $25,000 for the Japan Red Cross in its first two weeks. [http://www.quakebook.org/]

A model displays NTT Docomo's new electronic book reader SH-07C produced by Japanese electronics company Sharp in Tokyo on January 11, 2011. NTT Docomo and Japan’s largest printer Dai Nippon  Printing (DNP) announced a joint e-book service as electronics makers  have launched a wave of tablet computers and e-readers. The new venture,  2Dfacto, will open a Japanese online bookstore with an initial stock of  20,000 literature and manga comic titles for users of smartphones and  e-book readers marketed by NTT Docomo.

A model displays NTT Docomo's new electronic book reader SH-07C produced by Japanese electronics company Sharp in Tokyo on January 11, 2011. NTT Docomo and Japan’s largest printer Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) announced a joint e-book service as electronics makers have launched a wave of tablet computers and e-readers. The new venture, 2Dfacto, will open a Japanese online bookstore with an initial stock of 20,000 literature and manga comic titles for users of smartphones and e-book readers marketed by NTT Docomo.

Pirating your own library for your iPad

From the Sydney Morning Herald

YUSUKE Ohki’s 2000 books were filling his Tokyo apartment, so he scanned them into an Apple iPad. Six months later, the 28-year-old is running a 120-person start-up company doing the same thing for customers.

Japan’s cramped living conditions and the arrival of the iPad in May have spawned as many as 60 companies offering to turn paper books into e-books as publishers have been slow to provide content for electronic readers. Japan has lagged the US in introducing e-books because of a rigid pricing system, copyright uncertainty and early problems reproducing Japanese characters on screens, said Toshihiro Takagi, an analyst at market research company Impress R&D in Tokyo.

”People are taking matters in[to] their own hands because the publishers are not meeting the market’s needs,” said Takag

Bookscan converts books into PDF files that can be read on the iPad, iPhone, Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. The company charges 100 yen ($1.20) a book for a service called ”jisui” or ”cooking for oneself”.

”The homemade e-book market will continue to exist as long as the copyright situation isn’t dealt with and people cannot find books they want in electronic format,” said Masashi Ueno, a researcher at Yano Research Institute.