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Critical Path, Mitsui Form Distribution Alliance

E-mail solutions provider Critical Path, Inc. has formed an alliance with Mitsui & Co., Ltd., one of Japan's largest trading companies.

Tokyo-based Mitsui will act as the exclusive reseller of Critical Path's Web-based, in-language messaging services to Japanese businesses.

Critical Path hopes to leverage Mitsui's relationships in Japan and will play a significant role in the development of hosted Web-base applications.

Currently, 16.7 million Japanese access the Internet with regularity and that number is expected to rise to approximately 18.5 million by year-end. According to a recent survey conducted by Access Media International in conjunction with the Internet Association of Japan, Internet usage in Japan grew by 50 percent in the past year.

"Mitsui & Co. is one of the world's oldest and largest international trading companies with tremendous partnerships and reach," said Doug Hickey, president and CEO, Critical Path.

Hickey indicated that the exclusive relationship with Mitsui provides Critical Path with an exceptional, early opportunity to dive into the rapidly growing Internet market in Japan.

"Critical Path's robust, secure, and highly scalable Internet messaging solutions, powerfully enhance our core service offerings," said Andrew Van Etten, senior director of Strategic Business Development, Electronics & Information Business Division of Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.