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Mozilla makes Japanese push

A new Japanese unit will promote and develop local versions of the Firefox browser and other Net software.

The Mozilla Foundation, named in part for the Japanese "Godzilla" monster, returned to those roots with the launch of a division to promote its software in Japan. Mozilla Japan will work on making Mozilla products easier to use for Japanese citizens and speakers, releasing localized versions of the Firefox browser, the Thunderbird mail client and the Mozilla 1.7 Internet suite. Another focus will be spurring enterprise adoption of Mozilla software. The new group also is expected to contribute to development efforts.

Directors of the new organization include Hideo Aiso, president of the Tokyo University of Technology; Nobuo Kita, CEO of Ten Art-ni, a Japanese open-source software provider; and Satoko Takita, a former employee of AOL/Netscape Japan. Like the Mozilla Foundation, spun off last year by Time Warner's America Online unit, Mozilla Japan is a nonprofit organization.