Digital distributor sets up shop in Tokyo.

Independent music distributor the Orchard is launching a subsidiary in Japan, Billboard.biz has learned. The unit will be helmed by Hiroaki Watanabe, who retains his post as CEO of Japanese digital-music specialist DMI Inc.

The Orchard's new Tokyo office will source Japanese independent music to be sold through U.S.-based digital-music services including, iTunes, eMusic, Napster and Musicmatch.

In addition, Orchard Japan will license the Orchard's U.S.-based catalog and its other international content -- a library of more than 250,000 tracks -- to digital services in the Japanese market. Orchard Japan will focus on distribution to ringtone companies.

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