Softbank Publishing Inc. and Healtheon/WebMD Inc. Wednesday unveiled plans to
develop a Japanese version of the popular U.S. health site.
WebMD Japan K.K. will be a joint venture offering physicians and consumers
medical information via the Internet, and is expected to start by the middle of next year.
The site will reportedly be a 60-40 venture with Softbank Publishing
holding the majority stake, and the company will be capitalized with 300
The Japanese site will provide Healtheon/WebMD’s proprietary content as
well as Japanese medical news.
The medical site is the latest of many American Internet services which
Softbank has translated and remolded to fit the Japanese market. The
Japanese Internet heavyweight has brought in famous names to create local
sites such as Yahoo! Japan, E*TRADE Japan and Microsoft’s CarPoint. A Japanese Nasdaq is also in the works.