The Electronic Book Publishers Association of Japan recently announced that it would soon adopt Epub 3 as its standard. When the standard is finalized in May, part of the spec will include support for vertical text, making it possible for Japanese-language e-books to be viewed on reader devices sold overseas.
Curiously enough, the Japanese language supports both vertical and horizontal text, and you might sometimes see both on the same sign.
The 43 members of the EBPAJ, including Sharp, Dai Nippon Printing, and others, have been working on the new standard since November. The group is expected to publish its draft specification shortly and finalise the standard by the end of March.
image via Flictkr