War has broken out in Japan.

Digital music company Yahoo is offering music fans in Japan free access to streams of any song in its catalogue in an attempt to promote CD sales.

The search giant's US music service offers consumers streaming access to tracks at a much lower rate than available through other services, at $5 per month for subscribers. It intends to maintain that price.

Two existing digital music service operators in the country have also joined forces to fight for a share of their home market.

Oricon and Label Gate have teamed-up to "push the distribution business", reports Kyodo News.

All these moves may have been sparked by Apple's apparent overnight success when it launched its digital music service in Japan.

Apple sold one million tracks in four days, capturing a significant slice of the digital market in the world's second-largest music market.

Other existing operators are expected to team up to fight the US computer giant.