Rakuten putting Pinterest, Kobo to work in Japan

Here’s how Toronto-based e-reader and e-book service Kobo will go to market in the Far East:
Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, which acquired the e-book company this year and led a $100 million investment in Pinterest in May, is now putting both North American services to work in its home country…
The firm, which wants to leverage Pinterst to yield social commerce, has added Pinterest’s “Pin It” button to its Rakuten Travel, Rakuten Recipe and Rakuten Ichiba e-tail sites, allowing shoppers to share items they fancy. (Announcement).

And Rakuten, whose product pages already included share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Mixi and Google+, promises further “plans to accelerate the rollout of Pinterest’s services in Japan”.
Meanwhile, Kobo’s Touch e-reader has gone on pre-order for sales from July 19, costing ¥7,980 ($100).
The company’s e-bookstore, going live on rakuten.co.jp’s domain, will carry 30,000 Japanese-language titles amongst a total 2.4 million – 100,000 fewer than Kobo in other countries – and will include Japanese comic books. (Announcement).
Rakuten, whose core area has been straight-up e-tail, looks like becoming a force in fuelling that segment with digital content and social.