Japanese music fans have switched on to Apple's new iTunes Japan music download service - buying more than one million songs in just four days.

Apple announced its news this morning, confirming a strong local repertoire focus among Japan's music buffs. Japanese artists claimed both the number one song (Def Tech) and the number one album (Ulfuls).

"iTunes has become Japan's number one online music store in just four days," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "iTunes has sold twice as many songs in just four days as all the other online music services in Japan sell in one month."

Local content in vogue

The iTunes Music Store in Japan includes a wide variety of Japanese-language Podcasts, such as InterFM, Radio SOTOKOTO and Radio Nikkei.

90 per cent of tracks available through the service cost 150 Yen, cheaper than existing services in Japan, many of which have already begun lowering prices to match Apple's aggressive price pitch.

I'm very satisfied with the price, it's considerably cheaper than anything else in the market," Jobs said last week.

Sony holds out

However, the Japan Times confirmed last week that Japanese music on Sony labels is not available on iTunes at present.

Sony Music Entertainment spokeswoman Kiyono Yoshinaga said: "We are in talks with Apple, but we have not reached an agreement at this time."