According to a report at Nikkei, Apple will finally begin selling Japanese ebooks in the iBookstore soon. Although it launched iBooks in Japan alongside the iPad in 2010, it hadn't secured agreements to actually sell ebooks, which meant that the iBookstore shelves have been relatively bare. Now, having reached "agreement in principle" with at least three of Japan's major publishers, the company reportedly will offer some 80,000 titles in the country. Apple is a latecomer in Japan, having watched Sony, Rakuten's Kobo, Amazon, and even Google successfully navigate Japan's fragmented publishing market and offer content from local publishers in their bookstores.
Apple apparently has around 60 percent of the tablet marketshare in Japan, so it could be well-positioned for success. Nikkei says that the new ebooks could become available as early as this January, but unfortunately the publication has been overly optimistic in the past, mis-reading how long it took Amazon to finally launch in the market last year.