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IPad May Be ‘Black Ship’ That Shakes Up Japan’s Book Industry

Apple Inc.’s iPad may force Japan’s $21 billion book market to reshape pricing in the industry by historic proportions, publishing officials and analysts said.

Communications minister Kazuhiro Haraguchi and the Electronic Book Publishers Association of Japan this week compared Apple’s device to the “Black Ships” that led the country to open trade with the U.S. 157 years ago. Unlike most Western markets, Japanese publishers set retail prices and prevent discounting, allowing more than 450 companies to coexist.