Japan

Spotify arrives in Japan debuting new lyrics feature

Spotify arrives in Japan debuting new lyrics feature

After years of waiting, streaming music listeners in Japan finally have the option to check out Spotify. The service arrives in the country, said to be the world's second largest music market, this week, albeit as an invite-only beta for the time being. It's likely that the hold up for Spotify's Japanese debut was due to difficulties in reaching deals with local music labels — streaming music hasn't yet caught on like it has with the rest of the world — but the service is using the launch to show off its new lyrics features.

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Japanese LED basketball court steals the show at B league season opener

Japanese LED basketball court steals the show at B league season opener

In the US, a basketball court is always made of wooden planks that are painted with the correct lines and markings and then waxed to a high sheen. In Japan, they do things very different for at least one of the courts where the B league will play games. Unlike practice courts made from LED screens that were used in the past, this time out the LED court at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium was used for an actual game.

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Apple Pay to debut in Japan, New Zealand, Russia this fall

Apple Pay to debut in Japan, New Zealand, Russia this fall

At the big iPhone 7 event yesterday, Apple revealed that mobile payment system Apple Pay would finally be coming to Japan later this year. As was reported recently, the latest iPhones for the Japanese market will include support for Sony's FeliCa tap-to-pay technology, meaning Apple Pay will be compatible with the train and subway transit cards across the country, as well as with vending machines and retailers.

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Apple Pay may finally debut in Japan with Sony partnership

Apple Pay may finally debut in Japan with Sony partnership

The iPhone's mobile payment system Apple Pay has expanded to many more countries and regions over the last year, but it has yet to make an official debut in Japan. That may soon be changing, however, as following last month's news about a future iPhone including Japan's domestic tap-to-pay technology comes word that a partnership with Sony may result in the Apple Pay service rolling out in the country in full.

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Sony and Panasonic to debut 8K TVs in time for 2020 Olympics

Sony and Panasonic to debut 8K TVs in time for 2020 Olympics

4K televisions and broadcasts are just barely starting to catch on, but it's already time to start thinking about the next leap forward. At least, that's how Japan feels when it comes time to watch the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Japanese national broadcaster NHK has already stated that it will broadcast the Tokyo Games in 8K (also known as Super Hi-Vision), and now manufacturers Sony and Panasonic will be working together to get 8K-capable TVs on the market by the year 2020.

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Future iPhone said to feature tap-to-pay chip for Japan’s trains

Future iPhone said to feature tap-to-pay chip for Japan’s trains

Next generation iPhone models in Japan may be getting an exclusive new feature that makes it easier for residents to pay for rides on the country's extensive train-based public transportation system. A new report from Bloomberg says that Apple is working to add Sony's FeliCa tap-to-pay technology to its devices sold in Japan, allowing iPhone users to quickly pay for train rides in a way that's even faster than the NFC-based Apple Pay.

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics vid pokes good fun at Japan’s gaming, anime culture

Tokyo 2020 Olympics vid pokes good fun at Japan’s gaming, anime culture

As the Rio 2016 Olympics comes to a close, it was time for the baton to be passed to Japan, who will be hosting the next big international competition. And what better way to introduce the world to the new host than to show them just how wacky the Japanese can be. In a good way of course. In its pitch video for the 2020 Olympics, Japan made some lighthearted, tongue in cheek jokes about the countries perceived obsession with gaming and anime. They even got the highest political power in the country to jump in, almost literally.

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NHK kicks off 8K HD test broadcasts in Japan

NHK kicks off 8K HD test broadcasts in Japan

While 4K content is still rare in most of the world, Japan is set to move ahead with test broadcasts of both 4K and 8K content. The tests will be conducted by public broadcaster NHK on Monday. The test broadcasts will be done on the BS satellite channels with the goal of verifying the technology and getting people to use it ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

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Sharp made another Japan-only phone with razor-thin bezels

Sharp made another Japan-only phone with razor-thin bezels

Sharp one-upped just about every other smartphone two years ago when it debuted the Aquos Crystal, a device with almost nonexistent bezels on three sides. Now the Japanese phone maker is back with a smaller version: the Aquos Mini SH-M03. With dimensions measuring 126 x 66 x 9mm, it manages to fit a 4.7-inch display, the same size as the iPhone 6s' screen.

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NuAns Neo brings Moto X customization to US Windows phone

NuAns Neo brings Moto X customization to US Windows phone

The Windows phone platform may be barely surviving in the US, but the Japanese design startup NuAns still wants to give it one unique, stylish flagship handset. First revealed back in December, the Neo is a Windows 10 phone with enough design customization to put the Moto X to shame. And now it's making its US debut with a new Kickstarter campaign.

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These are Pokemon Sun and Moon’s Legendaries

These are Pokemon Sun and Moon’s Legendaries

Pokemon Sun and Moon (AKA SUMO) have two legendaries as of today - Solgaleo and Lunala. As you may have guessed, sunnier of the two will appear in the Sun version of the game, while the Lunar pokemon will appear in Moon. Despite their names, they will not be Sun Type nor Moon Type - nor any sort of astronomical sort of type. Solgaleo is a psychic/steel Pokemon and Lunala is psychic/ghost Pokemon. Both will be fully identified only when the game has been released, as it always is.

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Japanese companies including Sony, car makers freeze production following earthquakes

Japanese companies including Sony, car makers freeze production following earthquakes

The southern Japanese island of Kyushu has been struck by two serious earthquake in the last few days, causing some significant damage to the region. As a result, several local companies with factories in the region have decided to temporarily halt production as part of an effort to make sure their facilities are safe. This includes Sony's camera sensor factories in the cities of Nagasaki and Kumamoto, which was hit the hardest by the quakes.

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