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Amazon's Jap site gets more stores

Online retail giant Amazon.com on Wednesday made good on a promise to expand the types of products it offers through its existing international Web sites, rather than open up new ones.

Online retail giant Amazon.com on Wednesday made good on a promise to expand the types of products it offers through its existing international Web sites, rather than open up new ones.

The company has expanded its Japanese-language site to include music, video and DVD stores that will offer customer reviews and enhanced searching tools, along with additional editorial content from Amazon Japan's editors and film and music critics, the company said.

The move comes just one week after Amazon executives said they had no plans to continue a program of launching standalone Web sites country by country. Instead, the company said it will expand the offerings provided by its four international online stores based in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan.

Expansion of some of its features offered in Europe began in the spring. Amazon's French-language Web operations launched a software and video games site in April, while its UK Web portal began offering electronics goods in May.

The Seattle-based company said it also plans to announce that its German site will offer electronics products and that all four international sites expect to expand throughout the year.

Amazon has approximately 400,000 customers using its Web site in Japan.

Last week, the company said it expects its international operations to close the year somewhere between a pro forma operating loss of 2 percent of net sales and a profit of 2 percent of net sales for the fourth quarter.

Amazon executives pledged to reach profitability on a pro forma basis by year's end.