Apple launches iTunes Music Store in Japan

Apple today launched its iTunes Music Store in Japan, giving music fans the same innovative features, pricing, seamless integration with iPod and groundbreaking personal use rights that have made iTunes the number one online music service in the world. With one million songs priced at just ¥150 and ¥200 per song, plus Apple’s legendary ease of use and pioneering features such as built-in support for Podcasting, the iTunes Music Store in Japan is the best way for Mac and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music online. The iTunes Music Store is the number one online music store with over 500 million songs purchased and downloaded worldwide, and works seamlessly with iPod, the world’s most popular digital music player with over 21 million sold.

“iTunes and iPod are leading the digital music revolution,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO in the press release. “We are thrilled to be bringing the iTunes Music Store to Japan, and hope music fans here love it as much as others around the world do.”

The iTunes Music Store in Japan debuts with local favorites including iTunes Originals from globe and Ulfuls, exclusives from Def Tech, Crazy Ken Band, Chara, Little Creatures, Chie Ayado and The Complete B’z digital box set. Other iTunes exclusives released today include music from international artists such as U2, Jack Johnson and Björk, and over 10,000 audiobooks are available, including works by Japanese authors.

With iTunes 4.9, listeners have everything they need to discover, subscribe, manage and listen to Podcasts built right in. The iTunes Music Store in Japan is launching with a wide variety of Japanese-language Podcasts, such as InterFM, Sotokoto and Radio Nikkei.

In celebration of the iTunes Music Store launch in Japan, Apple is hosting live music performances throughout August at all four retail locations in Japan, including the new Apple Store Shibuya which opens August 6.

Apple today also announced the worldwide availability of early Abkco catalog titles from classic artists such as Sam Cooke and The Animals, as well as the Rolling Stones, making the iTunes Music Store the only online music service in the world to feature the complete digital music catalog of the Rolling Stones. iTunes is offering music fans worldwide the opportunity to pre-order a special version of the new Rolling Stones album “A Bigger Bang” with an exclusive bonus video.

iTunes for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Music Store and is available as a free download immediately from:

Purchase and download of songs from the iTunes Music Store for Mac or Windows requires a valid credit card with a billing address in the country of purchase. Music fans in Japan have the option to use iTunes Music Cards for cash purchases on the iTunes Music Store. iTunes Music Cards are available at Sofmap, Yamada, BIC Camera, Amazon Japan, Kojima, Yodobashi Camera as well as through the Apple Store and Apple’s retail stores.
Sony can’t be happy about this…

Related articles:
Apple’s Japan iTunes Music Store debut more bad news for Sony – August 04, 2005
Report: Apple CEO Steve Jobs to debut iTunes Music Store Japan ‘in a matter of hours’ – August 03, 2005
iTunes Music Store Japan? Apple to hold ‘special music event’ in Tokyo on August 4 – July 26, 2005
Apple to launch iTunes Music Store in Japan this August – July 15, 2005
Sony grabs Japan flash-based music player lead from Apple ahead of Japanese iTunes Music Store – July 14, 2005
Reports: Apple to launch Japanese iTunes Music Store in ‘near future’ – April 13, 2005


  1. “.. requires a valid credit card with a billing address in the country of purchase ..”

    Actually, that’s not quite enough. The card itself has to be issued from within the country of purchase. I’m in Canada. My billing address is in Canada. My card was issued from the States. The iTMS won’t take it for the reason stated.

  2. Would be nice if you could get songs from another country’s store. Perhaps with different pricing like “import” albums have on Amazon or in a store. I know that it is almost impossible to get legal copies of most, if not all, of popular Japanese albums, outside of the country. Those that are available are priced ridiculously high.

  3. GWM, all Apple applications (and most Mac applications in general) are multilingual. The “Japanese” iTunes program is identical to the “English” program, the only difference is what language you choose in the “International” control panel. The same is true of OS X itself. For fun, try restarting your whole system in Dutch some day. I mention this because it’s just one more thing that makes Windows users gawk in awe, so feel free to demonstrate liberally to your less-enlightened friends.

  4. “Before Thankgiving we will have Apple countdown to 1 Billion songs sold, IMHO”

    Actually, based on the sales data that have been released and extrapolating brings it closer to the 3 yr opening date of the iTMS around May 2k6. after all at last statement they said approx 500mil/year. at this point it may be at 500mil/9-10months

    “making the iTunes Music Store the only online music service in the world to feature the complete digital music catalog of the Rolling Stones”

    So does that mean a box set like the U2 set but for the rolling stones? or just all the tracks, but at reg prices?

  5. Keith in Tokyo:

    Hiya. The apps may well be the same internationally, but Apple does indeed deliver varying content at varying times (might be a glitch .. or some Apple testing, perhaps). My Mac OS is in english, but sometimes I get the Music Store in French. It’s happened to me three times during the past week.

    I only made the previous posting because the Japanese iTMS hadn’t yet showed up in my iTunes. It’s there now, but I still can’t access the store. Regardless, Apple is right on top of their iTMS Charts for Japan, I’m happy to report. Got an aggregator? Here’s one of the feeds: (this one shows the current top ten songs in the iTMS Japan)

  6. ok .. now I’m in. I managed to access the Japan iTMS by selecting items in the iTMS Charts RSS feed. Go ahead, tell me you guys are all breezing right in through the front door. Just my luck, prolly. lol.

  7. GWM — I used to have similar problems from time to time, and I think it was just a corrupt preferences file.

    I also tried a long time to get access to the Japan music store, but I think it was just really really busy. I’ve already subscribed to three Japanese-language podcasts! Gotta get to the Apple Store in Ginza to get me a one of them iTunes cards so I can start loading up on music, though. I wonder whether they’ll have free tunes like the US music store?

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