MySpace Enters Japan

JV is MySpace's first Asian affiliate. and Tokyo-based Internet service provider SoftBank confirmed widespread speculation Tuesday (Nov. 7) by announcing the launch of MySpace Japan.

As previously reported, Tokyo-based MySpace Japan is owned 50-50 by the two companies and is MySpace's first joint venture, as well as its first entry into Asia.

Makoto Kouyama has been named MySpace Japan CEO. Members of MySpace Japan's board of directors include Peter Chernin, president/CEO of News Corp., which owns MySpace parent company Fox Interactive Media; MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe; and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son.

The new company will maintain headquarters in Tokyo and have localized operations and staff for technology, development, sales, and marketing departments. A beta version of the MySpace Japan site went online Monday (Nov. 6). The "official" version of the site is scheduled to debut next spring.

"Softbank is proud to partner with MySpace to launch this exciting new venture," said Son in a statement. "We are confident the Japanese community will take to MySpace just as passionately as millions of others around the world."

Commented Fox Interactive Media president Ross Levinsohn in a statement: "SoftBank is not only Japan's number one company in terms of broadband services, but a critical link to ensure we reflect and respect Japanese culture. SoftBank is an ideal partner for this joint venture."

MySpace Japan will host its first Secret Show on Nov. 15 featuring Noel Gallagher and Gem of Oasis for a semi-acoustic performance exclusively for local MySpace users. The event will be free and details will be available at the site prior to the show.