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Netflix Sets Japan Launch Date

Netflix is set to debut in Japan on Sept. 2, marking the No. 1 streaming service’s first foray into Asia as it continues its strategy of reaching virtually every country in the world.

The Netflix Japan service will include a number of Japanese films and TV series, as well as original series including “Marco Polo” and “Marvel’s Daredevil,” the company had said previously.

“With its rich culture and celebrated creative traditions, Japan is a critical component of our plan to connect people around the world to stories they love,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in February, when the initial plans were announced.

Overall, Netflix has set an aggressive global-expansion goal of launching in 200 countries by the end of 2016. However, company’s only new international markets for the remainder of this year will be those it previously announced: Japan, followed by Italy, Spain and Portugal in October.

In Japan, Netflix’s competitors will include a Hulu-branded service — although Hulu itself doesn’t operate it anymore. The company, a joint venture of Disney, NBCUniversal and 21st Century Fox, launched a subscription VOD service in Japan in 2011. Last year, it sold the unit to Nippon Television Network Corp. for an undisclosed amount as Hulu refocused on the U.S. market.

In recent weeks, Netflix shares have hit record highs driven by investor excitement about the company’s international expansion. Netflix enacted a 7-for-1 stock split in mid-July to make shares more affordable to employees and smaller investors.

Netflix Japan has established accounts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, which each posted messages announcing the launch date.

Watch the teaser video for Netflix Japan:

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