At Google they also added 2 links at the bottom of news.google.com [news.google.com]. Those links weren't there one day ago according to Google's own cache of that page. Besides, Google's cache of the Japanese news page shows English news. So yes, it must be a really new feature.
I see a few Japanese SEO blogs just mentioning it today, so it is very new. It works just like the English version except they both have a local slant. Very nice. I wonder if this will pull some eyeballs away from the well entrenched Yahoo Japan News.