Entering the Internet Race: The Early Years of the Internet and Internet Commerce in Japan
Ten years ago, Japan lagged well behind in the race to capitalize on the commercial and other possibilities of the Internet. Cumbersome government regulations and an Internet-averse business community combined with aspects of Japanese society to make the Internet less compelling in Japan than other countries. The advent of the mobile Internet resulted in an exponential growth in Japanese e-commerce and m-commerce, vaulting the country into the world lead in the development of profitable Internet-based business models. This essay summarizes the early history of the Internet in Japan and outlines the general contours of Internet commerce in the country.