Category Archives: Japan

Shiretoko robot remix

Piro (English), Japanese add-on developer extraordinaire has remixed the Shiretoko (Beta 1, Beta 2) Robot.




Web Directions East 2008

Gen Kanai introducing Mike Migurski
via Flickr: karitsu’s Photostream

One of the key users that Mozilla focuses on in Japan are web developers as they are critical to having websites that work across all browsers, not just the one from Seattle.

Earlier this year, Mozilla Japan sponsored an event, “SwapSkills for the Happy Web Weekend“(Japanese), when John Allsop came to speak in Tokyo. We heard he was bringing his Web Directions conference series to Tokyo as Web Directions East (2008) and made the decision to co-sponsor the event.

In Japan, we still have a significant number of websites that are only compatible with the browser from Seattle. There are web-based services that stream entertainment content on the Internet that only work with IE, the most famous being, which does not deserve a link from me. There are banks that don’t work with browsers other than the one from Seattle.  etc. Thus it is critically important that web developers in Japan understand leading web design, which includes the importance of standards-based design. Thus it was a pleasure for us to sponsor Web Directions East and it was a personal pleasure to introduce Mike Migurski as the final keynote speaker for Day 1, as Jeff Veen was unable to attend.

Thank you to all of the speakers, John himself, as well as Kikuchi-san and his staff and volunteers for what was hopefully the first of an annual series of events on leading web design in Japan.

Flickr photos tagged wde08

Blog posts in English (these are speakers from the event)

Dan Cederholm – Tokyo Express

Adactio: Journal—Big in Japan

web directions east (tecznotes)

Blog posts in Japanese

Web Directions East : 2 日目 | ヨモツネット

WDE: Web Directions East | Fumihiro Kato / 加藤 文彦

Web Directions Eastで講演をしてきました。 | FXB | 株式会社エフエックスビイ

覚え書き Web Directions East

創造マラソンのデザイン更新中◆Web Direcitons East 2008でいい刺激。 | 創造マラソン

monkeyish studio: Web Directions East | Progressive Enhancement

安藤日記 [&] Web Directions East 08 (Eric Meyer)

安藤日記 [&] Web Directions East 08 (Dan Cederholm)

Japanese media coverage included:

「Web Directions East 2008」カンファレンス レポート

Thunderbird has 11.5% share in Japan

IT Pro Research today published a survey of 1781 email users in Japan. It’s not exactly clear who they were surveying (I am assuming enterprise/business users but…) so this is certainly not gospel.


Unsurprisingly, the total usage of Windows (from 98 through to Vista) is 96.8%. I know Macintosh has a larger than 2.1% share in Japan so this data is skewed towards business users I think.

share of operating systems

The share of email clients is much more interesting and Thunderbird has an 11.5% share. Webmail has a 7% share.

share of email clients

If one was to do a general survey of Japanese Internet users, I’m sure the webmail percentage would be much higher and I’m sure there are many, like me, who use both a client and webmail.

Firefox 3 Hacks (O’Reilly Japan)

O’Reilly Japan will be publishing Firefox 3 Hacks (Amazon Japan), authored completely by Japanese authors including:Firefox 3 Hacks

We’re very lucky to have such active and prolific developers and localizers and authors in Japan. With the previous pocket-guide to Firefox 3, and now this expert’s guide, Japanese Firefox users and developers have a pair of great books to help them enjoy Firefox 3 to it’s fullest.

Emura-san’s blog post about the book has an image of the dust jacket cover which some of you might enjoy: Firefox 3 Hacks 予約可能に.

significant Linux contributors from Japan

Amanda McPherson of the Linux Foundation writes about the recent Linux Foundation symposium in Japan: Linux is Big in Japan — Our Symposium.

While the majority of the audience came from Japan, attendees came from throughout Asia. The audience consisted almost completely of developers attending from such companies as NEC, Hitachi, Fujitsu, NTT, Sony, Toshiba, Canon and Red Hat and from universities including Tokyo University and Waseda University. An audience survey revealed that the areas of most interest to the attendees included server, desktop and embedded with the largest technical interests focused on virtualization, process scheduler and file systems, in that order.

Andrew Morton informed the audience that about 15% of current kernel contributions are now coming from Japan – something we hope the Japan Symposiums have contributed to.

This statistic of the relatively high (in my opinion) participation in the kernel from Japan is interesting because it somewhat contradicts things Linus said in an earlier interview at the Linux Foundation (about the lack of participation in the kernel from Asia), which I also blogged about in January. That there is a strong contingent of contributors to the Linux kernel from Japan is a great trend and something that I think disproves the myth that “Asia” doesn’t contribute to open source.  Let’s look forward to more contributions to open source from all over the world, not just the places where OSS has been traditionally strong.

Firefox 3 downloaded by 11.3% of Japanese internet population

Ken at has a nice English translation of a survey of 330 people I saw earlier today on Firefox 3 downloaded by 11.3% of Japanese internet population.
Firefox 3 リリース初日に全体の5.5%が、19日以降は5.8%がダウンロード」。

The good news is that over 11% of Japanese people who are online have downloaded Firefox 3. This is a great credit to the product and all of the developers and community members, testers, and localizers who made Firefox 3 a great release. It also reflects well on the press efforts that Mozilla made in order to get the word out, be it the Guiness World Record Download Day attempt at, or the efforts that Mozilla Japan made to get the press and bloggers to write about Firefox 3, a sample of which is captured at Mozilla Japan’s press coverage page.

The bad news is, and I’ll quote Ken here:

However, 70.3% were unaware of the release, but after being informed of it through this survey, just another 6.9% wanted to download it, but 62.9% didn’t know, suggesting that there is quite a significantly proportion of Japanese internet users who are ignorant of Firefox’s existence.

Japan’s market share of Firefox is higher than anywhere else in Asia, but we’re still lagging far behind in comparison to Europe (where my colleague Jane Finette shares that the most recent numbers from say that 34% of Europeans are using Firefox) or the US, where Firefox is closing on 20% market share (NetApplications).

In the first 5 months of 2008 we’ve seen very good growth in Japan, which is heartening to see, but we clearly have a lot more to do to make people aware that there is choice in browsers and that Firefox 3 is the faster, safer choice.  There’s still a lot of work to be done.

Cisco and China; Linux in Korea; community survey; JUI in Tokyo

Intel® C++ Software Development Tool Suite 1.0 for Linux* OS Supporting Mobile Internet Devices
Free IDE for mobile linux development.

OECD Broadband Portal – Press release
Data on broadband growth.

Firebug 1.2 beta for Firefox 3 RC 1
Works with Firefox 3 RC 1! Might have a few bugs but please check it out.

Q&A with Isaac Mao on tech blogging in China: Censorship, and opportunity
Isaac was very helpful when we visited Shanghai in 2007 before we opened the Mozilla Beijing office.

Cisco Systems Denies Online Censorship Role in China
Cisco internal documents show otherwise.

Cisco Leak: ‘Great Firewall’ of China Was a Chance to Sell More Routers
Not surprised; very disappointed.

Cisco saw opportunity in “Golden Shield” to help fight criminals…and dissidents
Must-read from Rebecca MacKinnon on Cisco-firewall-gate.

Read and be depressed with me.

China’s All-Seeing Eye
Naomi Klein for Rolling Stone Magazine.

Open-Source File Format Is to Be a Part of Microsoft Office
Embrace & extend.

Report: JUI (Javascript User Interface) 2008 conference in Tokyo
Akky and Serkan have made Asiajin a must-read in 2008.

Firefox 3 Usability Survey
Isriya Paireepairit of the Mozilla community in Thailand would like your help with a survey he is working on for his university studies.

Metagold: A Research Blog about Nico Nico Douga
Fascinating English-language look into the hot video web service of Japan. Correspondent’s Diary – Tokyo food
Excellent Tokyo food blog.

Linux Foundation Opens Korean Office
The LiMoKr must be targeting enterprises or just the server market because the Linux desktop is dead in the water in Korea without support for SEED and Korea’s unique Windows/ActiveX-based encryption method.


.jp Registry report 2007

Lower fees, more coordination within Asian registrars, expansion of JP DNS servers, DNSSEC.  Personally, I am still on the fence with regards to i18nized domains.

viral ads in China, the year in browsers, cute corporate mascots, IDN

  • The Mozillagumi’s 9th annual party will be held in Tokyo on May 31st. Presentations by John Daggett and David Tenser of Mozilla, Channy Yun of Mozilla Korea, Takagi-san of AIST, Nakamoto-san of, and a number of others. This event is free and open to the public but requires signup iirc.
  • We object to “Restriction of Harmful Information on Network Bill”
    The Wide Project, (a non-profit that works to promote the Internet in Japan), takes a stand against recent movements by the government in Japan to increase censorship of content on the Internet (a futile effort led by a clueless politician who wishes to blame the medium and not the users.)

more great links, versione due!

various and thoughtful links