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Not sure if people have seen this yet. Yahoo Japan will be using both Google and Overture for advertising. Of course, Google's advertising program in Japan has been live for months (since July?), so if you want to show up on major Japanese sites, you can just sign up with Google right now. :) Or if you want to advertise in English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish. Or if you want to pay in dollars, euros, pounds, yen, or other currencies. :)
Back to the original topic of the forum: congrats Google on your Japanese partnership. It will be interesting to see how you duke it out with Overture.
I've been talking with the head of a leading Japanese SEO firm, and they are very eager to introduce PPC to their client base. The marketplace is very competitive and we will see bids rise quite rapidly on the popular keywords.
It appears Google Adword support people (English speaking) are unaware of this issue.
A couple of tips for working in the Japanese market.
Only advertise in Japanese if you have a Japanese language site.
DO NOT use computer translation software to convert your site, it is either very funny or very sad for the Japanese when they view your site.
DO NOT use companies who are translators, they provide a literal translation and it sounds horrible in Japanese. ONLY use Japanese marketing specialists to craft your advertisements and site.
The Japanese are very particular customers. Products and services in Japan are more expensive because of the quality of services, products, presentation and packaging required to win business.