Government-owned Japan Post announced plans to work with U.S.-based online auction giant eBay Inc. to allow Japanese users to more easily sell items and ship them overseas. The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the business alliance should lead an increase in items from Japan put on eBay, including cultural artifacts, art works and anime-related goods. Japan Post hopes to benifit with an increase in usage of its service.
To encourage more Japanese to use eBay, Japan Post will introduce a service in spring 2012 providing English-language support for putting items up for international auction on the site, seen as one of the main sticking points for Japanese would-be users. Japan Post will also offer a 20-30% discount for eBay-related international postage to help spur use of its postal services, which have been suffering a roughly 3% annual fall in usage.