How To Make Friends, Japanese-Style

Social networking is so popular in Japan in that one standing joke says that a Japanese salary man has three online profiles: one that’s real, a second that’s edgier so he can venture into pages that detail his private obsessions, and a third that is completely anonymous so his wife or girlfriend or boss will not track him down.And that’s been great business for Mixi, Japan’s leading personal portal and social-networking destination. “In Japan, there’s really only one significant network,” says Gen Kanai, director of marketing for Mozilla Japan. That’s Mixi. Even so, as social networking sites move to mobile phones, Mixi is going to have to run hard to keep its lead.

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