The Japanese market has had a love-affair with Twitter since day one, so it only makes sense that Twitter would work hard to keep tweeters in Japan happy. The company has officially added support for Japanese hashtags, a move which further illustrates the close ties between Twitter and Japan.
Although the announcement was only made in Japanese on the Japanese Twitter Blog, the Asian tech blog Asaijin did a bit of translating for English tweeters.
Now, when someone tweets from Twitter.com in Japanese, the hashtag symbol “#” will be recognized as a hashtag and the Japanese characters following it will become hyperlinked, just like their English counterparts.
Previous to this upgrade, hashtags in Japanese were treated as regular characters, and didn’t signify the beginning of a hashtag. Asiajin explains that since Japanese is not a language that naturally has spaces when written in its traditional form, Twitter users will have to add a space before and after the hashtag for Twitter to recognize it as such.
Twitter has had close relations to its Japanese users for some time. Japanese was the first language that Twitter translated its website into, Twitter appointed its first official country manager to Japan, and the Japanese can even get their hands on Twitter smartphones, likely years ahead of when we’ll get them.
Asiajin notes that this relationship had recently gone a tad sour, as Twitter has not been quick lately to introduce Japanese-language features like the hashtag.