Last week trendy micro-blogging service Twitter launched officially in Japan, after the company had "noticed a significant percent of Twitter usage consistently originating from Japan". At the time of launch, Joi Ito - an investor in Twitter - claimed that Japan usage "was nearly 30% of Twitter earlier on", but had dropped to "about 13% as the US user base has grown."

However, the signs are that Japanese Twitter usage is set to explode in popularity - Twitterlocal shows that Tokyo is currently by far the city with the most Twitter usage.

Twitter itself hasn't released any stats, but Google Trends is another to show a large Japanese presence on the service, both in location...

...and in language:

And in many ways this trend is logical, given Japan's history with succinct writing - from haiku to text messaging. As the AFP recently noted, "the Japanese are among the world's most avid users of cellphones, which they use to pay for train fares, shop, watch television, read novels and, of course, to send messages to one another."

Could Japan be the first country where Twitter usage becomes mainstream, rather than just being popular among geeks - as it is in the US and english speaking countries? Judging by these early stats, that's a good bet!

image: TrendsSpotting