It appears Apple is readying iTunes Match for launch in Japan, as the company has just updated iTunes to add the iTunes in the Cloud service and the newer “Purchased” tab within iTunes that most of us in North America are used to by now.
While Japanese users have had access to iCloud for a while, it has only been for sharing data across apps. With iTunes in the Cloud, Japanese iDevice owners can now access the music they purchased on the iTunes Store directly on their iDevices thanks to iTunes in the Cloud. If iTunes Match is indeed next, that will also add the ability for users to match their music with Apple’s and gain access to 256 kbps DRM-free copies of their music as if they purchased it from the iTunes Store.
Although iTunes Match is available in quite a few countries, Japan is among many others that are missing from that list. If iTunes Match does make it to Japan next, it’s likely that a few other countries will also be added, if not on the same day then in the very near future.