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The Japanese press release is here: Ask.jp ends search service [static.ask.jp]
Ask Jeeves Japan had been in operation at the beginning of this decade offering corporate search services. They opened a beta version in 2004 [webmasterworld.com] for a full consumer level search engine. In 2005 [webmasterworld.com] they came out of beta and signed an agreement with Google to provide the site with sponsored links.