Netflix plans to expand to Japan this fall in Asian market debut

Netflix to expand to Japan this fall

Buoyed by recent better-than-expected subscriber growth, Netflix announced Wednesday that it would expand to Japan this fall.

It will be the movie streaming company’s first foray into the Asian market.

“With its rich culture and celebrated creative traditions, Japan is a critical component of our plan to connect people around the world to stories they love,” Chief Executive Reed Hastings said in a statement.

Netflix plans to open a regional office in Tokyo, its latest of several expansions announced in recent months.

In November, the company announced its service would be available in Australia and New Zealand starting next month. In September, Netflix launched in six European countries, including France and Germany.

The expansion hasn't been without hiccups. Netflix faced some resistance in France, whose film industry is closely tied with the nation's identity.

The company said this month that it had added 4.33 million users in the United States in the last quarter of 2014, more than the 4 million it had forecast.

Netflix is already operating or has plans to operate in nearly 50 other countries. The company has more than 57 million subscribers worldwide.

Times staff writers Lauren Raab and Ryan Faughnder contributed to this report.

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