Amazon joins crowded field with Japan Kindle release

Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:07am EDT

* Paperwhite e-reader starts at $110, Fire tablet at $160

* Amazon up against Rakuten, Apple & Google, Sony in Japan

TOKYO Oct 24 (Reuters) - Inc will make Japanese language Kindle e-readers and tablets available next month, as the U.S. online seller joins a slew of e-book makers in trying to win market share in the world's second-biggest publishing market.

Amazon began taking pre-orders on Wednesday for its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, which starts with a price tag of 8,480 yen ($110), and Kindle Fire tablet, which has a base price of 12,800 yen ($160). Both devices will be available from November 19.

The online retailer also said it will start offering Kindle e-book titles on its Japanese website from October 25, with a selection of more than 50,000 Japanese-language titles, including books from local publishers such as Kodansha Ltd and Kadokawa Group Holding.

The launch pits Amazon against local players Rakuten Inc , which debuted its Kobo e-reader device in July, and Sony as well as Apple Inc and Google Inc , in competing for digital content market share in Japan.