According toYahoo Japan has outsourced its ebook operations to a company called eBook Initiative Japan. The handover will take place on 1 April, after which eBook Initiative Japan will be responsible for all aspects of running the ebookstore and marketing its content.
Coincidentally, the parent company Yahoo only controls a minority stake in Yahoo Japan; Yahoo owns about 35% of its Japanese subsidiary, while Softbank owns 36%. So Verizon, which is still in the process of acquiring Yahoo, doesn't quite own a Japanese bookstore.
In any case, outsourcing operations made sense given the relatively small size and slow growth of the Japanese ebook market.
According to Japan's Research Laboratory of the Publishing Science, Japanese ebook sales rose 13% in 2016, to 25.8 billion yen. In comparison, book sales alone accounted for 737 billion yen.
image by abhisawa