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Japan Digest – 14 Jul

Here you can find interesting startup news from Japan, not only from its capital, Tokyo, but also other startup hubs like Fukuoka, Kyoto, Osaka, and many more.

(1) Japanese mobile gaming pioneer DeNA and Twitter will be the first recipients of the Japan-US “World Changer” Award at Stanford University on July 15th, award organizer Japan Society of Northern California announced today.

(2) Japanese telecom operator NTT DoCoMo Inc. said Friday it has agreed with Chinese Internet search operator Baidu Inc. to set up a joint venture in China to distribute games and other mobile phone content in the mainland in a move that could help them cash in on the expected growth of smartphone users.

(3) Japanese Yen has been staying high against US dollars, especially last year. Apple finally thinks its 115 yen(US$1.45) is too much for $0.99 apps.

(4) Official Japanese Twitter blog announced that Twitter is now capable of Japanese character hashtags.

(5) Jonny Li, a Tokyo-based British start-up curator and also known as a partner for the Startup Weekend organization, announced he would hold its 54-hour weekend events in Tokyo, Kyoto and Fukuoka.

(6) Two huge Japanese social gaming networks, DeNA and GREE, who are working on oversea expansion showed a new move to utilize their accumulated assets — flash-based games for Japanese feature phones.

(7) Dentsu has struck another exclusivity deal, this time with Skype. The deal is intended to generate 1 billion yen of revenue (US$12.4 million) through exclusive display space on the Skype start up screen.

(8) Alarm Everyone is a new iPhone alarm application which let you and your friends share the same morning alarm.

(9) Last week, a false rumor telling that you will need to pay to tweet on Twitter from July 1 was widely circulated in Japanese twittersphere.

(10) Facebook Spot Information is becoming popular in Japan after Facebook had started Check-in Coupon (Check-in Deals) in Japan. But a problem arose when Recruit, Japan’s largest coupon business player, registered spot information of restaurants on behalf of restaurant owners without enough notification.

We thank nordicfactory for the flag image.

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