Japanese Electronic Publishing
History of Electronic Publishing and Related Organizations

Dawn of CD-ROM Technology

1985The CD-ROM version of "Dictionary of Science and Technology" was published by Sanshusha Publisher. The first CD-ROM publication in Japan.
1987"The Third Edition of Kojien on CD-ROM", priced at 28 thousand yen, was published by Iwanami Shoten Publisher. This is the one that accelerated electronic publications in Japan.
1988"The 1987 Edition of A Model Statute Book on CD-ROM", priced at 30 thousand yen, was published by Sanseido Publisher, and the CD-ROM with a look-up software program was priced at 90 thousand yen.
"The Basic Knowledge of Today's Terminology", priced at 20 thousand yen, was published by Jiyukokuminsha Publisher.

The Japanese Electronic Publishing Association (JEPA) http://www.jepa.or.jp

EstablishedJuly 1986
PurposeTo make electronic publishing popular in Japan and to provide various related information.
ChairmanMr. Hideki Hasegawa (President of Jiyudenshishuppan Publisher)
Mr. Kanji Maeda (President of Sansyusha Publisher) from 1986 to 1996, for one year during this period, Mr. Keiichiro Tsukamoto (President of Impress, Ltd.)
Purpose To work on multimedia CD-ROM formatting standards and on a Japanese extension of ISO-9960 (, which was completed in 1990.)
Creation and distribution of JEPA World Font CD with a Unicode kanji-font (in 1996)
Various seminars: 40 times per year
Membership150 companies (Membership fees: 240 thousand yen per annum)

The Electronic Book Committee (EBXA: DataDiskman) http://www.ebxa.gr.jp

Established August 1991
Purpose To make electronic books (on 8cm CD-ROM) ubiquitous in Japan
Chairman Mr. Hideo Nishikawa (The 21st Century Information Publishing Research Center, ex-Director of Iwanami Shoten Publisher)
Activity To make electronic books ubiquitous in Japan
Secretariat Located within Sony information Technology Company, Ltd.
Membership 122 companies (Membership fees: 150 thousand yen per annum)
Products 300 titles, of which 100 are overseas titles. Besides dictionaries there are a great variety of practical titles such as learner's reference books, guidebooks, and telephone directories.

The EPWING Consortium http://www.epwing.or.jp

Established October 1991 (Founded by Iwanami Shoten Publisher, SONY Corp., Dai Nippon Printing, Toppan Printing, and Fujitsu Ltd.)
Purpose To make the EPWING specification prevalent in Japan with the intention of CD-ROM dictionary look-up functionality.
Chairman Mr. Hideki Hasegawa (President of Jiyudenshishuppan Publisher)
Until 1997, Mr. Ryosuke Yasue (then President of Iwanami Shoten Publisher)
ActivityThe EPWING specification was standardized as JIS-X4081 "the Search-purpose Data Structure for Japanese Electronic Publishing" in 1997.
Secretariat Located within Fujitsu Aprico Ltd.
Products 40 titles: besides manuals and white papers those are mainly dictionary-related products such as 'Kojien' and 'Chiezo'.
Membership 85 companies (Membership fees: for A-class 300 thousand yen per annum, for B-class 50 thousand yen per annum)

The Electronic Book Consortium http://www.ebj.gr.jp

Established October 1998 (The phase for demonstrations and experiments lasts until March 2000.)
Chairman Mr. Masatugu Satoh (President of Ohmsha, Ltd.)
Chief companies Shogakukan, Sharp Corp., NTT Ltd., Hitachi Ltd.
Purpose To work on electronic book standards and do promotion activities and proof experiments for "Books-on-Demand" (with a budget of 800 million yen, MITI subsidies being used.)
E-book readers Sharp's hardware (with two 180-dpi LCD screens), etc.
Membership 133 companies (Membership fees: start at 500 thousand yen per annum upward)
Products The budget includes converting existing 5,000 books into electronic books (with an upper limit of 15MB per book).

BookWorld http://www.bookworld.ne.jp

Established 1998
Chief companies Fujitsu Ltd. (in charge of the West Hall), Hitachi Ltd. (the East Hall), Dai Nippon Printing, UC Card Co., Ltd.
Purpose With MITI subsidies being available, they do proof experiments.
Activity To enable the user to download content titles and charge the amount on his UC card. (Membership of CyberNet: 15,000 members)
To build functionality that allows the user to subscribe in small units such as magazine articles, with a small amount of money like 50 or 100 yen.
PDF and other proprietary formats are used as the data formatting options.
Membership 20 or so publishers have joined.

Kazuo Shimokawa [EAST Co., Ltd.]