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Amazon Prime steps up to battle Netflix in Japan

Amazon has announced it will bring video streaming to Amazon Prime customers in Japan, just days after Netflix announced it was partnering with a local telecommunications provider in the country.

Amazon Prime is set to offer video streaming in Japan. Amazon

The global battle between Amazon and Netflix is growing with the announcement that Amazon is set to launch its video streaming service in Japan next month, hot on the heels of the news Netflix will soon launch in the country.

The US-based e-commerce giant announced on Thursday that it would be bringing subscription video streaming to Japan from September with free access for Amazon Prime members. Established in Japan since 2007, Amazon charges 3,900 yen ($32) for an annual Prime membership in that country, compared to the US membership fee of $99.

The move into video streaming in Japan comes amid a fiery battle for global domination by companies in the streaming space, and follows an announcement from Netflix less than a week ago confirming that it would be launching in Japan on September 2.

Prime is a big name in e-commerce in the United States, offering services such as free shipping on Amazon purchases, unlimited music streaming through Prime Music and unlimited movies and TV shows through Prime Instant Video. The service has also slowly been establishing a foothold in international markets, rolling out in Canada and parts of Europe since its US launch a decade ago.

Unlike Amazon, Netflix is partnering with a local telecommunications provider, SoftBank, to offer its on-demand video streaming as a fully integrated service, including billing. Netflix Plans in Japan will range from 650 yen pre-tax per month ($6) for a basic plan, up to 1,450 yen ($12) for a Premium Plan offering four streams and 4K viewing.

By comparison, Amazon Prime members will get streaming as part of their monthly membership fee of 325 yen, roughly $3.