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Rolling Stone Turning Japanese

TOKYO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Facing a tough home market, Wenner Media's Rolling Stone magazine is launching in Japan this month. This will be the magazine's 15th international edition. The Japanese version will feature a mix of local stories and translated articles from the U.S. — will license content from Rolling Stone and be printed locally by Tokyo-based International Luxury Media.

Rolling Stone is probably hoping this launch goes better than its ill-fated foray into Japan, from 1973 to 1976, when the magazine folded "for financial reasons," according to Wenner. This time around, the inaugural issue is kicking off with an homage to a famous 1999 cover of Kurt Cobain.

Expanding has not been an easy road for Rolling Stone. Last spring, its Chinese edition was almost forced to shutter, after the inaugural issue, because it failed to print the Chinese rendering of the magazine's title in sufficiently large type. The Chinese version survived and is still publishing.

Rolling Stone is expanding internationally, launching in Brazil this past fall. "There's a tremendous interest in pop music and American culture in Japan, which we certainly hope will be to our advantage," Joe Levy, executive editor, told the WSJ. "It arrives with one of the biggest brand names in pop culture."